Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
What would you do if you won the lottery? For many, buying a dream home tops the list, and HGTV capitalized on that idea when the network created My Lottery Dream Home in 2015. Hosted by Design Star winner David Bromstad, the series introduces viewers to recent lottery winners and follows the lucky folks as they search for the house of their dreams.
When the show first launched, Bromstad could not have been more excited to help lottery winners in this venture, saying in a press release, "Six numbers change these winners' lives forever, and I live for taking them on the search of a lifetime to find their dream home." Bromstad's enthusiasm for the series, paired with its fantasy factor, may just be the secret to its success. My Lottery Dream Home is still going strong after five years on the air, and the latest season brought HGTV a 29 percent increase in viewers for its Friday night time slot, according to a ratings report by Discovery. It's also among the top five performing shows on the channel's streaming service, HGTV GO.
While the show clearly attracts a lot of attention, there are many behind-the-scenes secrets of which fans might not be aware. Keep reading to take a stroll inside HGTV's My Lottery Dream Home.
David Bromstad explained the process of being on My Lottery Dream Home
Viewers of My Lottery Dream Home — and pretty much any HGTV real estate buying show, for that matter — are used to clients sitting down with the host or a real estate agent and listing off what they do and do not want in their future property. However, David Bromstad told TV Insider that much more goes on behind the scenes.
Bromstad admitted that he doesn't do too much research on the couple before he meets them, because he wants to "keep it really fresh." Upon first chatting with the lucky winner(s), he gets an idea of who they are and what they desire in their dream house. Then, when cameras stop rolling, he dives in deeper. "I really get into the nitty gritty of what they want, where they want to be, what I can look for, what I can't — we can only put so much on TV," Bromstad explained.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, while some clients are really picky, others need much more guidance. After they settle on a house, Bromstad gives the new homeowners his number and leaves the door open for any questions or requests for advice. "I give them as much as they want to hear," he added, sharing that some people are very keen for help, asking Bromstad to give "everything" he can.
My Lottery Dream Home's host revealed the surprising thing most people request
John Parra/Getty Images
While one may think the extra cash flow may get to some lottery winners' heads, David Bromstad revealed the sweet thing most clients on My Lottery Dream Home request: to be close to family. "That is 100% the biggest thing," he told AOL. "A house could be in the middle of nowhere, and they always stay close to family. That was something that really surprised me. It's all about family."
There have been a fair share of unique requests, though, and Bromstad recalled one that really sticks out in his memory: "The most bizarre was a guy who wanted a lot of bathrooms in the Hamptons. You know, 'We're in the Hamptons, so we want lots of bathrooms!'" However, the TV host doesn't feel too pressured to get everything checked off on even the most demanding of dream home lists, and instead places more importance on learning what the clients want, what their style is, and what they can actually get for their budget.
But if anyone does have a far-out request, Bromstad tries to act as an objective guide. "It's always nice to have someone who's not really part of their lives, an outside source, to come in without any great emotions while listening to what they're looking for in a home," he explained to the New York Post.
David Bromstad shared why not everyone drops millions on their dream house
It's safe to say that anyone is lucky to win big on the lottery, but "winning big" does not always mean they're rolling in hundreds of millions of dollars.
"It all depends on how much money they've just won," David Bromstad said of clients who appear on My Lottery Dream House to the New York Post. "Some people are living paycheck to paycheck and they're pretty smart, like, 'Wow, I'm 35 years old and I've just won a million dollars — it's going to change my life for the moment, but I've got to be smart about it.'"
Plus, the new cashflow is often used for other things in place of an over-the-top dream house. The tattooed host explained that some people have debts to pay off, or they simply want to use their money in more beneficial ways. "They're looking for houses that are appropriate for their win," Bromstad told TV Insider. Noting how many of the show's lottery winners are "million dollar winners," he added his own perspective: "To me a million dollars just elevates your plans for ten years."
People weren't excited to be on My Lottery Dream Home at first
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
While My Lottery Dream Home is now a huge hit, people weren't comfortable with being on the show at first, because they didn't want to draw more attention to their large winnings. "We reached out to close to 1,000 lottery winners and we got 10 to appear on our first season," Mike Krupat of 7Beyond, the production company behind the HGTV series, told Mediaweek. However, after people tuned in, this skepticism faded and casting became much easier. "Once other winners saw ... how it was about wish fulfilment and making people's dreams become a reality, people were more willing to take part," Krupat added.
In fact, being on My Lottery Dream Home was the first thought for Brian and Tuk Kutz, after they won $200,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket in Washington state. "My wife and I had always watched that show before we won the scratch ticket," Brian shared with HeraldNet. "I used to joke we'd have David find us a house if we ever won." The couple manifested their future, and upon winning, they saved the HGTV team time and quickly reached out to them for casting.
My Lottery Dream Home helps lucky lottery winners find their dream house while also giving viewers a taste of what a lottery-winning life could be like — so who knows? Maybe you'll be the next lucky winner!