Saturday, October 23, 2010

Money for Nothing

I just finished a book - it's been a little while since I've read one since I've been catching up on my magazines, but I finished it. It's called "Money For Nothing: One Man's Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions" by Edward Ugel and I must say, it was an incredibly interesting read. Based on the title, you would probably think that it is about a guy who won the lottery and in a way, he did - but not in the traditional sense that you would think. This book is about a man who worked in the lump-sum industry. When a lottery winner decided to get annual payments (since not all states offer lump-sum choices when they win) and spends all the money and is strapped for cash, they can sell some of their payments to a lump-sum company. Edward was one of the salesman in the industry who would negotiate for those payments. While in theory it sounds like they are doing the winner a favor (by being able to help them out when they are strapped), the winner is getting screwed out of some of their money. These salesman are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars - which in the case of some of them, was comparable to winning the lottery.

This book completely opened my eyes to a side of the lottery industry that I never knew existed. I had always thought that if I was ever lucky enough to win money (which is only possible if you play, which I don't), I would be able to take care of my boyfriend and pay our bills, as well as paying off my school loans and maybe being able to go back to school. Coming from someone who worked on the other side of the equation, I began to understand why some people who had won the lottery wished they hadn't.

I love reading autobiographies and non-fiction books. There is something about reading about real people and situations that opens my eyes to so much more that is outside my own little world. I think this book is definitely worth reading and I would definitely give it an A+, five stars, whatever you want to rate it as. It is a book that I may not have initially been attracted to, but coming from me (someone who will read just about anything), I'm glad I took a chance and read this book.

Peace and Love!

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