In a small town called Evart, about 70 miles north of Grand Rapids, Mich., Jerry Selbee (Bryan Cranston) and his wife, Marge (Annette Bening) begin a second half of life adventure that ends up reinvigorating their marriage and the entire town.
After retiring from the Kellogg company after 42 years as a line production manager, Jerry is feeling lost in his “golden years.” His kids and wife buy him a small fishing boat as a way to ease the transition into the next phase of his life, but Jerry feels uninspired. Sitting in his local gas station convenience store, drinking a $1 cup of coffee, Jerry grabs a lottery advertisement and reads the back only to discover a loophole in the WinFall lottery rules. At first he can’t believe it. But after doing the math, he confirms his suspicion—the odds change in the favor of the one playing the lotto if enough tickets are purchased.
Jerry sneaks over to the bank to risk $8,000 on his newly discovered loophole. He loses money the first time, but after adjusting the equation, Jerry begins to win again and again. Jerry’s wife Marge gets wrapped up in the adventure when Jerry accidently reveals his secret. Rather than condemning Jerry’s activity, she believes this is the lively spark they need.
To Jerry and Marge’s credit, they immediately think about how the lottery winnings can help the entire town of Evart. They form a small business and include other townspeople as shareholders. Everything is running smoothly until the WinFall lottery loophole is discovered by someone else—a selfish Harvard undergrad student who tries to force Jerry and Marge out of “the game.”
Jerry and Marge Go Large is based on a true story. It’s a sweet and well-told story about retirement, relationships, romance, and making a small town feel big and important. Watch the movie and discover at the end exactly how many millions of dollars Jerry and Marge won. If you want to try and guess, here’s a hint—go large. (Rated PG-13, Paramount + Streaming Service)
About the Author
Sam Gutierrez is the Associate Director at the Eugene Peterson Center for the Christian Imagination at Western Theological Seminary. More of his creative work can be found at printandpoem.com