HOLLYWOOD—The odds of winning big in Powerball’s multi-state lottery are a staggering 195,249,054 to one, but one in five Americans still believes the best chance of reaping a fortune lies in overcoming those odds.

An official selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the HBO documentary titled “Lucky” takes an entertaining and candid look at the seduction of the lottery on many Americans, and shows what hitting huge jackpots does to the winners and those around them. It debuts Monday night at 9-10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Director Jeffrey Blitz (Oscar®-nominated for “Spellbound” and Emmy® winner for “The Office”) crisscrossed the country to see what happened to the not-always-lucky few whose dreams came true, learning that winners’ lives can be turned upside down when they are forced to grapple with their new status in the world. “People who suddenly come into a tremendous amount of money without any preparation are left struggling to come up with a new way to live,” Blitz said in a statement. “They become unmoored. And the world around them closes in. Finding your place on the spectrum of self-interest to altruism is one of the discoveries that the winners have to make.”

Along with insightful portraits of winners and losers, “Lucky” provides fascinating factoids about the lottery industry, such as the fact that lotteries paid for the building of Jamestown, the first American settlement, as well as for Washington D.C. Despite the 2008 economic meltdown, 22 states subsequently reported record lottery receipts, with the industry taking in $62 billion annually, well more than the money Americans spent on movies and sporting events combined. Moreover, 2 percent of all lottery winnings are never claimed, including a 2002 Powerball prize worth $51.7 million.

Director Jeffrey Blitz’s first film, “Spellbound,” received an Oscar® nomination in the Documentary Feature category and debuted on CINEMAX in 2003. His second film, “Rocket Science,” screened at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Dramatic Directing Award. Blitz has also directed episodes of the hit comedy series “The Office,” winning an Emmy® for his efforts in 2009.

Producer Sean Welch entered the film industry as a production assistant on the movies “Crimson Tide” and “Face/Off” before graduating to producer for “Spellbound” and “Rocket Science.” Welch and Blitz are currently working on a documentary about DC Comics.

“Lucky” was directed by Jeffrey Blitz; produced by Sean Welch, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf and Jeb Brody; executive produced by Rebecca Morton, Liz Manne and Catherine Tait; edited by Yana Gorskaya; music by Eef Barzelay.

Photograph Courtesy: HBO