Nails O'Reilly Duquesne is a newly wealthy young widow. Loud and brassy, Nails is a former manicurist. She organizes a benefit for her favorite cause, the rehabilitation of ex-convicts. Together with her sidekick (an "ex-con" himself), Policy Pinkle, and her "square" boyfriend, lawyer Bob Hale, she embarks on a nationwide search for Bob's old girlfriend, which is really the reason for the enterprise. The girlfriend, 18 years earlier, had sat upon a hot waffle iron and so had a unique "imprint". However, the national lottery that Nails starts gets the attention of the Finance Committee, and they wind up in Washington DC in an even more complicated situation. The Supreme Court declares the lottery unconstitutional, because it would benefit the people.