The American reality-television series “My Lottery Dream Home,” has prodded the interest of many viewers, who imagined what kind of house they would buy if they won the lottery. The HGTV production team featured lottery winners, and documented each of their journeys in searching for their new homes. Not everyone knew the ins and outs of the real estate market, most especially on how to find a great location worth investing their prize money in. However, getting help from a real estate expert made it easy for the nouveau riche to own a home they never thought they could afford. 

A background on how “My Lottery Dream Home” started

With the plethora of new genres of reality-TV shows made available out there, viewers couldn’t keep up with all of them. There was no perfect formula for making a hit TV show, but the producers sure knew what they were doing when they launched “My Lottery Dream Home” on 7 March 2015, as it became an instant phenomenon. Average folks can easily relate to the lottery winners, because everyone wanted a fancy home when they hit the jackpot. However, creating the TV series was another story, because the producers had many obstacles to overcome before they were able to smoothly film the first season. 

Casting problems

The first problem was that while the concept was interesting and highly relatable, it was hard to find newly-minted lottery winners to participate in the show. Beyond Productions produced the show, and one of the executives, Mike Krupat, said, ‘Lottery winners don’t really need the exposure, and they don’t need the money to participate.’ Many were quite wary of exposing themselves on TV because most of them didn’t want the attention that being on a reality-TV show would bring. The search for cast members in the initial season was brutal, because they were only able to get 10 people to appear in the TV show out of 1,000 lottery winners that they approached. 

High ratings since its inception

After the successful run of the first season of “My Lottery Dream Home,” lottery winners became more open to sharing their experiences. Beyond Productions no longer had any problem securing participants to appear in the series, as the latter realized that the show’s concept was really about the fulfillment of one’s ultimate wish. In fact, so many of them wanted to join the TV show, to vet them properly the producers made them email their applications. 

From its inception, the series provided consistently high ratings for the TLC cable network. In 2018, it delivered its highest-rated season premiere episode yet, and it’s continued to garner overwhelming interest over the years. 

The host – David Bromstad

If online discussions about the reality-TV show were to be surveyed, most viewers felt that part of the charm that resonated with them was its host, David Bromstad. In the past, not everyone would be accepting of an overly tattooed, openly gay individual making recommendations on something as serious as real estate, but his knowledge, unique style, and terrific personality just made the show even more appealing. He’s an interior designer by profession, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Ringing College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.  He initially worked as a Disney illustrator, before he established his own design company called Bromstad Studio. His first TV appearance was in 2006, when he participated in the reality competition series “HGTV Design Star,” as he competed for a chance to host his own TV show by creating amazing interior designs. David was the first season grand winner, and eventually hosted his own show, “Color Splash.” 

Fascinating facts and rumors about “My Lottery Dream Home”

It wasn’t a surprise that “My Lottery Dream Home” attracted a huge body of viewers, because nothing has been more exciting than watching ordinary people shop for their new homes in a more expensive zip code area. However, as with most of the successful reality-TV series out there, allegations of fraudulent representation were also thrown at the show – here are just some of the interesting facts and rumors about the show:

Staged scenarios, scripted dialogues 

Many fans have been wary of reality-TV series that professed that everything that happened in the show was real. Some of the former cast members of the show shared that they filmed a scene several times until the director found the perfect execution. Showing the reality of situations can be really boring for TV and so producers and writers thought of ways to make them more interesting, without really getting too far from the narrative. It was perfectly acceptable, since it was for a TV show.

Real lottery winners

One thing that the producers of “My Lottery Dream Home” were proud of, was that all of the featured cast members were authentic lottery winners. During its first season, filming was oftentimes put on hold because some of those who agreed to be featured would say no at the last minute. It was quite bothersome not to mention expensive, but the producers were adamant that they use authentic lottery winners. It didn’t matter if it was from a lucky scratch-off lotto card, a Mega Millions, or a Powerball lotto ticket, because no one could replicate the real joy of any winners, especially when buying a new house. Their excitement was contagious, and the viewers loved it. 

Humbled by the new millionaires

David Bromstad shared in one of his magazine interviews that he was truly humbled and inspired by those lottery winners he met through the show. Most of them were conservative in spending their money, and regarded their winnings as a tool to pursue a quality of life. While some of them went on shopping sprees, which was quite understandable, most of them contacted lawyers and accountants to make sure that their finances were properly taken care of.

The lotto winners were prepared before joining the house hunting

Unlike some of the narratives we seen in other reality shows, most of the lotto winners in “My Lottery Dream Home” were smart. They’d already done their research and reached out to financial advisers before appearing in the show. However, they respected David’s opinion, and it was essentially one of the main reasons why they agreed to be part of the series. It also didn’t hurt that David had many great deals up his sleeve. 

Shown not-for-sale properties

Some other reality-TV series about the real estate industry or home makeovers may have used not-for-sale houses during the filming, but not with this show; every house that David chose to show his clients was real and available. There were times when he offered a house to a family that went over the budget that they had in mind, but David said that it was a marketing strategy. He would always push the envelope once he learned the exact amount of their total winnings. More often than not, if people had a budget of $3 million for a new home, they could easily change it to as much as $5 million, if they were shown exciting options.

David’s scandal in 2015 almost derailed his stint with the show

The charming host’s reputation was besmirched in 2015, when David broke off his relationship with his then-boyfriend, Jeffrey Glasko, who was one of the first openly gay celebrities on the HGTV network. David and Jeffrey started going out in 2004, after meeting in a pub in Orlando during a Valentine’s Day celebration. Fans loved the two, and they were excited to learn that they were about to marry soon. However, after being together for almost a decade, they called it quits. Jeffrey immediately filed a lawsuit against David, saying it was over a ‘breach of an oral nuptial-like cohabitation contract and partition of the condo they shared.’ 

Fans thought that it was just a matter of legally separating their assets, however, Jeffrey became nasty, and alleged that David was into booze, drugs and prostitutes; the media as well as those on social media had a field day. He accused the host that ‘on or about 2010, [David Bromstad] began using funds shared with [Glasko] to pay for illicit drugs and pro*****tes resulting in a loss of trust and confidence.’ It was so scandalous that it could have cost him his hosting job at HGTV, but David countersued, and the judge dismissed the case in his favor, with Jeffrey even receiving sanctions from the judge.

Getting to know the lottery winners

One of the reasons why some of the viewers questioned the authenticity of the TV show, “My Lottery Dream Home”, was because it seemed that there was instant chemistry between the host and the lottery winners. Actually, David Bromstad was just so good at his job that he spent time talking with the winners hours before filming started. The host said that it was the best way for him to figure out what they were looking for, so he could more easily show them the best options.

Not all the lottery winners want a huge, fancy mansion

People were surprised to learn that not all of the lottery winners were itching to live in a huge, fancy mansion. Most of them were smart with their money, and would only choose a home that was appropriate for their needs. They also didn’t end up buying a new house quickly, even with all the money that they’d won. There was a homeless man whose life turned 180 degrees by winning $2 million from the Powerball Lottery in Louisiana, with whom David patiently spent some time before he settled into what he called the ideal property for him. He said that people these days are more prudent in investing their money, as they were aware that making the wrong move could leave them financially broke.

Three seasons of “My Lottery Dream Home” within a year

In 2018 and 2019, Beyond Productions produced three seasons of “My Lottery Dream Home” in a span of one year. Due to its high ratings, HGTV continued ordering new episodes, even as the latest season was still airing. A season consisted of 14 episodes, and it seemed that viewers couldn’t get enough of it. In one of the seasons in 2018, the reality-TV show garnered close to 16 million viewers, and has been consistent in delivering huge viewership ratings over the years. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020, fewer seasons and also fewer episodes were aired; the producers were hoping that everything would pick up soon after the vaccinations rolled out in 2021.

David Bromstad doesn’t play lotto

One would think that after meeting and getting to know past lottery winners, David would be encouraged to play the lotto. He claimed he doesn’t play it, because he had a hard time spending $10 to $30 on lotto tickets. All his life, luck was never on his side, so he worked very hard to achieve his goals. He also believed that being the grand champion of the reality-competition series, “Design Star,” was like winning the lotto. After all, his star never faded since that fateful day, when he came out as the top designer in the competition.

Some of the houses that the lottery winners bought with David’s help

David Bromstad’s said that he has the best job in the world. He claimed that meeting the families who realized their dreams of winning millions by playing the lottery was a surreal thing, but also shared, ‘Now that their wish list has no limits, I can go on the ultimate search to find the home that fulfills their every fantasy.’ He felt like he was a genie granting one of their ultimate wishes in life. Not all of them were multi-millionaires, as some won less than a million dollars, but it was enough for them to buy a dream home they’d never thought possible.

$180-million lottery winner was David’s first client

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The first episode of the first season of “My Lottery Dream Home” featured a $180 million lottery winner in California. Rick Knudsen won the Mega Millions lottery, after having lived with his wife Lorie with their five children in their 2,200 square feet Calimesa home for 20 years. He’d just retired from his roofing business, while she was a homemaker at that time. When David asked what they wanted, they both answered a huge space; they were looking for 5,000 to 6,000 sq. ft. or bigger, with open acreage so that his grandchildren would have space to play in. Rick wanted a modern, country-style home with five to seven bedroom; they didn’t want to take part in remodeling it, just to enter a finished home ready for occupancy. Initially, Rick wanted to spend just about $2 to $2.5 million so David showed them two properties within that price range, but when he showed them Eagle Crest, a $5.5 million property located about 10 miles away from their Calimesa home, the Kutz couple were enchanted.  It had 50 acres of land, a huge open house, enough bedrooms, six garages, and all the perks that come with a mansion. They ended up spending more than they’d planned, but they were quite happy with it. In fact, after three months of living in the house, they decided to purchase the properties around them, and now owned more than 845 acres of land, and most of his family lived there around them.

Loyal fans became lottery winners and reached out to the TV producers

Brian and Tuk Kutz were loyal fans of “My Lottery Dream Home,” but they never thought that they would end up being featured in the TV series. Sure, they talked and dreamed about it as most of the viewers did while watching the show; he said, ‘My wife and I had always watched that show before we won the scratch ticket’, and his wife said, ‘I used to joke we’d have David find us a house if we ever won.’ Well, their dream came true when they won $200,000 from playing scratch-off lotto cards. A month after they claimed their money, they reached out to the executive producers, because they wanted to meet David and be advised on what house to buy. The family wanted a home that was perfectly situated away from a main road, with no neighbors near it, but with a scenic view of the water. David found them the perfect property, as they end up with a Victorian-style house in Central Whidbey in Coupeville, Washington State, which ticked all the boxes of what they wanted for a new home.

A double lottery winner purchased a home near his grandson

One of the people featured in the sixth season of the TV show was Michael, one of those lucky lotto players who won twice, five weeks apart. Initially, he won $100,000 on a scratch-off card, and then five weeks later, he won $750,000. He said he’d played all his life and never won anything, so he couldn’t believe that he would actually be blessed twice. At that time, he was living in a rural rental vacation home owned by his friend. Michael’s main requirement was that his new house was situated near his daughter’s home, so that he could be present in his grandson’s life, and that it should be a townhouse with a garage. David delivered again with the perfect property, that had spacious common rooms, and Michael along with his daughter loved it.

So, are you off to buy one of the aforementioned scratch-off or lotto tickets now, as no doubt have many who’ve watched this intriguing series? If so, to win you’ll still need all the luck of previous winners mentioned above!

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