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Money for Nothing

Cover of Money for Nothing

Money for Nothing

One Man's Journey through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions
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This wry and funny memoir tells the story of America's addiction to gambling from an astonishing angle. At age twenty-six, broke and knee-deep in gambling debt, Ed Ugel serendipitously landed a job as a salesman for "The Firm," a company that offered up-front cash to lottery winners in exchange for their gradually-doled-out prize money. Ed made a lucrative living by taking advantage of lottery winners’ weaknesses—weaknesses he knew all too well. As Ed saw up close the often hilarious, sometimes sad outcome when great wealth is dropped on ordinary people who rarely have the financial savvy to keep up with the lottery-winner lifestyle, he discovered that the American Dream looks a lot like a day at the casino. And like those lottery winners, Ed struggled to find a balance in his own life as his increasing success earned him a bigger and bigger salary.

This wry and funny memoir tells the story of America's addiction to gambling from an astonishing angle. At age twenty-six, broke and knee-deep in gambling debt, Ed Ugel serendipitously landed a job as a salesman for "The Firm," a company that offered up-front cash to lottery winners in exchange for their gradually-doled-out prize money. Ed made a lucrative living by taking advantage of lottery winners’ weaknesses—weaknesses he knew all too well. As Ed saw up close the often hilarious, sometimes sad outcome when great wealth is dropped on ordinary people who rarely have the financial savvy to keep up with the lottery-winner lifestyle, he discovered that the American Dream looks a lot like a day at the casino. And like those lottery winners, Ed struggled to find a balance in his own life as his increasing success earned him a bigger and bigger salary.

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About the Author-
  • Edward Ugel is a sales and marketing expert who spent his late twenties and early thirties working among the nation's most infamous lottery winners and gamblers in the high-stakes lump sum industry. He writes for the Huffington Post and has also written for the New York Times and contributed to PRI's This American Life.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine This memoir describes how hapless overspending lottery winners are lured into contracts that pay them lump-sum amounts in return for portions of their multi-year payouts. It's a predatory sales operation with huge commissions that Edward Ugel says he mastered through his willingness to schmooze with and lie to clients. Blind ambition and a gambling addiction fueled his productivity. The author's story is intensified by the contradictions between his ruthlessness with clients, his guilt over his profession, and his big-picture knowledge of gambling culture. Narrator Arthur Morey gives an exceptional interpretation of the author's evocative writing. He connects equally well with the tension of the sales encounter, the ironies in the clients' sad stories, and the ribald self-disclosure that make this exposé so entertaining. T.W. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
  • USA Today 'A colorfully written account by a self-proclaimed overweight, chain-smoking, Krispy Kreme doughnut-eating, fanatical gambler....You will lick your chops, eager to hear the sordid woes of winners gone broke from spending sprees.'
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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Money for Nothing
Money for Nothing
One Man's Journey through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions
Edward Ugel
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