Luck of the Draw
Sliders s01e10.jpg

Wade dancing with another lottery winner
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 10
Written by Jon Povill
Directed by Les Landau
Guest stars Kevin Cooney
Alex Datcher
Geoff Edwards
David Glyn-Jones
Jason Gray-Stanford
Tim Henry
Michael Kopsa
Cameron Labine
Nicholas Lea
Kristina Matisic
Nathan Vanering
Walter Marsh
Production no. 70409
Original airdate 1995-05-17
Episode chronology
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"The King is Back" "Into the Mystic (2nd Season)"
List of Sliders episodes

"Luck of the Draw" is the tenth episode of the science fiction television show Sliders, and the final episode of the first season. It originally aired on May 17, 1995. In the episode, the sliders arrive on an alternate Earth where citizens are encouraged to play a lottery used as population control.


Joycelyn Elders is President of the United States in this Earth where San Francisco, populated by only 100,000 people in a world of half a billion, seems to Wade to be a utopia. "The Lottery" is played by using ATM-like kiosks that provide citizens with whatever money they ask for. Each dollar constitutes an entry for the grand prize drawing of five million dollars and a white card that gives its user unlimited buying privileges within the society.

When Wade's announced on TV that night as having won "The Lottery", she believes she and her friends will never have to worry about money again. One of the items purchased is a BMW. However, during the Lottery Ball which she and the others attend, Quinn learns from a brochure produced by "Right to Lifers" about the measures this society has taken to prevent a Malthusian catastrophe. The winners of "The Lottery" are forced to take part in state-sponsored euthanasia and "make way"—this world's euphemism for death—while their beneficiaries get their prize money. According to the "Right to Lifers" (comprised of Nobel Prize-winning physicists, philosophers, and ministers), fifty thousand people have already died this way.

Rembrandt attempts to save one of the winners, a woman named Juliette, and take her with them on the next slide. However, Juliette has Rembrandt arrested by the Lottery Police, the enforcers of "The Lottery," and taken to be mercilessly killed at a municipal enforcement center. Wade and another lottery winner, Ryan, get ready to escape on the next slide. Quinn and Arturo, with help from the "Right to Lifers," free Rembrandt from the police van and join Wade in the ballroom where the Lottery Ball was held. Ryan, Wade, Rembrandt, Arturo, Quinn, and a dog named Henry reach another Earth. Quinn, who was the last one through, was hit in the shoulder by a bullet from the Lottery Police, and falls unconscious.


  • This episode very closely resembles Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.
  • This episode has a somewhat similar plot to the movie The Island (except in this case, it is a voluntary method of population control, as opposed to a deception that results in those involved being harvested for their organs).
  • While many initially believed the world of this episode to be the "paradise" world Quinn's double spoke of in the pilot , the creators of the show have denied this theory stating in the DVD commentary for the pilot that the paradise world was never visited.
  • This episode is the first episodes to involve a non-centric character sliding with the core team.
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