Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Money for Nothing: a book review

***Wordless Wednesday post below***

I was offered a chance to review a few books, but just from reading the title of this book I was hooked. I will admit that I am one of millions who plays the lottery, and though I do not play on a regular basis I still get a thrill; so the idea of reading about the dark side to business was intriguing.

Throughout the book Ugel struggles with the morality of the Lottery Buyout Business, but he also gets into the more technical underbelly of what he assures the reader is the full fledged business- the lottery. He describes where the money made from the lottery is actually used and the way in which it divided in most states, and he describes the fact that in most states the money that is supposed to go towards a state's education is actually divided differently. Yes, the lottery does give the state their yearly cut, but it is the state who chooses to take the money, cut back and reallocate state funds to compensate. Where is this money going? Good question.

In this fascinating book, the author Edward Ugel also recounts his life before the business and the aftermath of his actions towards hundreds of lottery winners... and himself. Ugel is quite frank about what it means to really win these days for most people, which is to end up flat broke months after winning the lottery because they make the mistake of taking yearly annuity instead of a lump sum payout. He describes the good, bad and the ugly of lottery winners by giving many examples of the type of clients he normally bought lottery winnings from by buying their next lottery check (for a cut of course), so that the winners could get their hands on the money they so desperately needed. Out of seeing a need, The Firm was born.

The most important thing to take away from reading his book, and something the author stresses periodically throughout the book? Take a lump payment. With an annuity, you don't earn interest on the money the lottery owes you, and though 200 grand a year for 20 years may seem like a lot- in the end you have to consider inflation and the value that dollar will have in 20 years. 200 grand isn't going to be worth what it is today.

If you play the lottery even on occasion, I highly recommend this book. It's filled with insightful information, grit and many funny anecdotes about his life in the industry. To read more reviews of this book, click the image to go to Happy reading!

If you are interested in reading this book, let me know in comments. I will mail it to the the first person to ask for it. ;)


Lisa said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I'd be interested in reading it.

Tee said...

Great review. I like the creative cover art using the lottery balls to spell out "money" :)

Thanks for the "lump sum" tip. I hope I get to use it some day ;)

maggie said...

I wonder how you have time to read?

wolfbaby said...

sounds interesting, i never play cause i never ever win ya know? just not my luck i guess;) that and i can't stand the thought of parting ways with even a dollar and getting nothing back.. i know i know a penny pincher *sigh*

Jay Cam said...

soudns likes interesting stuff!

Jay Cam said...

Care to trade links? My site is

If would like to trade, post my link, then comment or email me and I will post yours on my site as a permanent link. Send what you want to your link to be called and your link please.
I would appreciate the linkage, Thanks!

kailani said...

I was so excited to receive this book. I have an Aunt who won $100,000 in Vegas and was bankrupt in 2 years. So sad!

Judy Thomas said...

I'm going to follow the rules and actually ASK for the book! "May I have the book, please?" Does that work??? huh, huh?

Pamela said...

a nicely written review. I've always thought, should I win, I would take it all (less the taxes) and invest it as I saw fit.

Ed Ugel said...

hey there. It's Ed Ugel, author of Money for Nothing. It's great to see such interesting and positive takes on the book. I truly hope you folks all get a chance to read it. I'll be stopping by the blog from time to time over the next few weeks. I'd be happy to answer any questions too!! All best-- Ed Ugel