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

May. 15 2020, Published 11:13 p.m. ET

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.

HGTV Orders 16 New Series and Pilots, Including ‘My Lottery Dream Home International’

Leanne and Steve Ford, Luke Caldwell and Clint Robertson, and Lara Spencer all get new shows

HGTV has ordered 13 series and three pilots, including new shows from Leanne and Steve Ford, Luke Caldwell and Clint Robertson, and Lara Spencer. Plus, an “International” version of “My Lottery Dream Home” is being readied from across the pond.

Additionally — but definitely not “finally” — Clinton Kelly is getting his own house-hunting series.

“We’ve locked in a solid lineup of creative, innovative and entertaining programming to inspire people who want to reimagine their homes,” said Jane Latman, president, HGTV. “This is just the beginning. We’re taking scores of pitch meetings, reviewing hundreds of concept reels, talent sizzles and social media sites–looking for imaginative real estate, renovation and design experts who are pushing the envelope with their distinct points of view.”

“This order of new series and pilots will focus on stories of home and the families who live in them,” she continued. “All of our stars will offer inspired ideas that audiences will love. HGTV is committed to sharing ways people enjoy their homes and to providing immense entertainment value.”

Below is how HGTV itself breaks down the new additions. (The headings are theirs too)

First, the three pilots, which each come with working titles and a 2021 premiere:
“Divide and Design” (wt) will star sisters Courtney Robinson and Leslie Antonoff as they help homeowners identify their “struggle spaces” and transform them on a budget–but it’s a budget the sisters must share. In each episode, Courtney will overhaul the main space, while Leslie will work with the homeowners on do-it-yourself projects at a fraction of the cost.

“Fresh Starter” (wt) will spotlight design duo and real-life couple, Austin Coleman and Raisa Kuddus, as they help create custom renovations using only what their young clients have to offer–awkward spaces and tight budgets.

Husband/wife team Ben and Loana Sargent will transform Vermont’s tired cottages and cabins into stylish, cozy escapes in “Cabin Crew” (wt).

Familiar Faces
“Home Again with the Fords” will star popular sister-brother duo and home renovation experts Leanne and Steve Ford. Throughout the series, the Fords will help clients transform their childhood homes into updated, beautiful spaces while preserving treasured nostalgic elements.

Lara Spencer, “Good Morning America” contributor and the creator, executive producer and host of the Emmy-award winning competition series “Flea Market Flip,” will star in “Everything but the House” (wt). Each episode will follow Lara and her team of expert appraisers help families declutter their homes to find and auction off items of value.

Business partners Luke Caldwell and Clint Robertson will renovate homes for growing families in Boise, Idaho, who need more space in “Outgrown.”

And, Houston-based, husband-wife team Jon Pierre and Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin will take center stage in “Texas Two Step.” The series will showcase how Jon and Mary help clients sell their house for top dollar and use the profit to purchase and overhaul a new place to create a forever home.

New Spins on House Hunting
The network also will add three new house-hunting series that offer a distinct spin on the popular programming genre. “Self-Made Mansions” (wt) stars Clinton Kelly, an entrepreneur in the world of style, who will lend his passion for real estate and design to help self-made millionaires find the home of their dreams.

Across the pond, British interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen will helm “My Lottery Dream Home International.” Each episode will feature Laurence as he helps lottery winners find and buy their perfect home in the United Kingdom and Europe.

“40-Year-Old Property Virgin” (wt) will follow adult children who still live with mom and dad as they venture out on their first house hunting expedition.

Emotional Real Estate
Many of HGTV’s newly greenlit series will fit well in its “renovation, design and real estate” wheelhouse, but some will lean into the emotional highs and lows that the participating stars and families face. For example, the network’s latest self-shot series, “Life Under Renovation,” will follow five families from across the country as they take on the ambitious task of building their dream homes. Each episode will capture the unique stories and challenges behind the personalized renovations.

Families who have languishing home improvement projects will get the help they need in “Unfinished Business” (wt). In each episode, builder Tom Reber will swoop in to help a deserving family complete their abandoned projects.

Take it Outside
HGTV will offer a fresh take on home renovation and curb appeal. “Inside Out” will follow renovation duo Carmine Sabatella, an interior designer, and Mike Pyle, a landscape designer, as they battle each other to balance client priorities and budgets to make houses beautiful from the inside out.

Renovation and Restoration Across America
Fascinating details about some of America’s oldest homes and subsequent renovations come together in “Save This House” (wt). The series will follow history buff Mike Lemieux, carpenter Rich Soares and designer Jen Macdonald as they save centuries-old properties from demolition in one of America’s first hometowns of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Docu-Design Series
Two new titles — “Breaking Bland” and “One Week to Sell” (wt) — will highlight designers with gorgeous and unique aesthetics.

The Charleston, South Carolina-based series “Breaking Bland” introduces designer Mary Welch Stasik. During each episode, Mary Welch will break any design boundary and encourage clients to eschew traditional looks to create a truly personalized space.

“One Week to Sell” (wt) will follow Taylor Spellman as she transforms unsold homes into red hot properties. Taylor and her team will create personalized design plans for these lagging listings and make them market ready with high-end style on a small budget.

HGTV has ordered 13 new series and three new pilots, including new shows from Leanne and Steve Ford and Luke Caldwell and Clint Robertson