McMillions – Episode 2 Recap & Review

Brotherly Love

The utterly bizarre and yet strangely captivating McDonalds case returns this week as we dive further down the rabbit hole. The one question at the heart of episode 2? Who Is Uncle Jerry? Throughout this 50 minute episode, a new cast of colourful characters enter the fray and with it, a deepening understanding of just how far up the chain this McMillions scam went.

Three different time periods take centre stage this week, with 1995 focusing primarily on a mysterious donor offering up a winning ticket and subsequently allowing St Judes Hospice to revel in the winnings. The odds of a winner in this game is remote enough but the odds of someone selflessly donating their winnings to a hospice? Very slim indeed.

We also dive further back to the late 70s as we learn more about the two Jerry’s that take centre stage here but before that, in 2001 we return to an enthused Doug Mathews and the rest of the FBI working fruitlessly together on wire taps for anyone linked to Jerry Jacobson. As we saw last episode, his ties to Simon Marketing immediately ring alarm bells, leading the investigators on a wild ride from their headquarters to a printing factory known as Dittler Bros Printing.

Don’t be fooled by these guys though, this placed is locked down tight. Multiple security procedures, cold-war style gate openings and a very comprehensive system for high-ranking winners make this an operation that almost certainly would require a whole plethora of people involved to try and outsmart. Two of those people both share the name Jerry. The second half of this episode tackles Jerry Colombo, a man with his hands in multiple cons across the country and ties to organised crime as well.

All of this leads to an ingenious idea from (who else!) Doug Mathews; interviewing the winners of the monopoly game and getting their side of the story. One of the winners that comes forward is Buddy Fisher and as we see from his interview, he’s less than calm. With sweat pouring from his face, we soon learn that he’s Robin’s Father; Jerry Columbo’s Father in Law. The mysterious donor at the start of the episode? Jerry himself. Agonizingly, this is where the episode ends.

The light-hearted tone adopted last time out returns this week and with it, a changed emphasis and motif surrounding brothers. With both Jerry’s brother’s interviewed, there’s a certain poetic irony with these perspectives and something that helps keep this documentary feeling balanced and concise. The lack of a narrator overseeing everything is a smart move too and much like last week, McMillions is a documentary that’s hard to take your eyes off. The spider web of deception continues to grow – how much bigger will it go?


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