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‘My Lottery Dream Home’ Is Actually One of the “Realest” Reality Shows out There

Updated 6 months ago

All TV fans know that there’s no such thing as a “real” reality show. No matter the genre, editors work their magic behind the scenes to create extra drama or establish specific and scripted storylines in the name of ratings. Frequently, they’re forced to cut footage simply because of time constraints.

HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home is no different than any other program, but when it comes to “fake reality,” the series is actually one of the most honest in the bunch.

Is ‘My Lottery Dream Home’ fake?

Thankfully, producers don’t aim to do much manipulating on this show. All of the individuals who appear on the house hunting series are actual lottery winners, an element that nearly sunk the entire project before it had a chance to air.

TV exec Mike Krupat claimed his team had a hell of a time trying to recruit people in the beginning due to the unique nature of the program. “Lottery winners don’t really need the exposure and they don’t need the money to participate,” he explained to Mediaweek in 2017. “We reached out to close to 1,000 lottery winners.”

Host David Bromstad also remembers how difficult the early days of the series were. “It took a year for each of the first two episodes just to cast,” he recalled to The Wrap in 2018. “So it was a lot of being on hold — ‘Oooh, we have one! Oops, sorry, we don’t.'”

Season 1 ultimately changed a lot of skeptic’s minds. “Once other winners saw the show and how it was about wish fulfillment and making people’s dreams become a reality, people were more willing to take part,” Mike shared.

Participants sometimes have to film reaction shots more than once.

Brian Kutz, who appeared on Season 7 after winning $200,000 from a scratch-off ticket, admitted that he was thrown off by the amount of times he had to walk into the same room and act surprised, but still spoke fondly of the experience.

“My wife and I had always watched that show before we won the scratch ticket,” he told the HeraldNet. “I used to joke we’d have David find us a house if we ever won.”

Unlike House Hunters, the families featured haven’t yet found the home of their dreams. According to Season 7’s Anthony Colligan, who was homeless before he scooped up $2 million in Louisiana’s Powerball lottery, David spent quite a bit of time with him looking for the perfect property.

“I tell you, we laughed and cut up and had so much fun,” the veterinary assistant told The Acadiana Advocate. “I didn’t know he was like that. I did not know… This was my first time hanging out with a celebrity, and it was a blast.”

In a 2018 chat with the New York Post, David noted that most winners don’t appear on the show the second they get their big checks. “A lot of winners get financial advisers and think it through before they call me,” he revealed. “They know I’m going to give them great deals and show them exactly what they want to see.”

Is 'My Lottery Dream Home' fake? Fans of the HGTV series will be happy to hear what past winners have to say about the show and host David Bromstad.

Is ‘My Lottery Dream Home’ Fake?

We hate to be the ones to break the news, but here it is: Not everything you see on reality television is real. In fact, most of what the audience sees in the final version of any show is heavily edited to make it seem a certain way.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. Reality shows would be very boring without a little dramatic embellishment. Imagine an episode of House Hunters where it’s just two people sitting there waiting for the results of a home inspection. That wouldn’t be fun at all!

One of the more intriguing shows on HGTV is My Lottery Dream Home, a reality show where true-life lottery winners seek nicer houses to better suit their new financial status in life. But fans of the show can’t help but wonder — is the whole thing fake?

David Bromstad | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

The show participants are real lottery winners

As for the most obvious aspect of My Lottery Dream Home, there is one fact that fans can count on. All the featured house hunters are real lottery winners.

They may not have all won as much money — winnings range from a couple million to hundreds of millions — but everyone has really and truly won a lottery.

Host David Bromstad says in the early days of the show, finding people to participate was the hardest part. “How many people win the lottery? And how many people want to buy houses? And how many people want to be on TV?” he said during an interview with The Wrap.

“It just started out so slow. It took a year for each of the first two episodes just to cast. So, it was a lot of being on hold– ‘Oooh, we have one! Ooops, sorry, we don’t.’”

Now the show is much more popular, which makes it easier to find people who want to participate.

So many shows on HGTV are far from reality. But is 'My Lottery Dream Home' really fake? ]]>