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Book: Money For Nothing

Topic closed. 10 replies. Last post 9 years ago by Todd.

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Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
Zeta Reticuli Star System
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January 17, 2006
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Posted: September 23, 2007, 6:50 pm - IP Logged

Saw this at the bookstore today, looks like it might be interesting:

Money for Nothing: One Man's Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions (Hardcover)
by Edward Ugel

Editorial Review:

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
In his wry and funny memoir, Edward Ugel tells the story of America's addiction to the lottery from an astonishing angle.

At age twenty-six, Ed found himself broke, knee-deep in gambling debt, and moving back into his parents' basement. It all changed, however, when he serendipitously landed a job as a salesman for The Firm--a company that offered up-front cash to lottery winners in exchange for their prize money, often paid in agonizingly small annual payments, some lasting up to twenty-five years. For the better part of the ensuing decade, Ed spent his time closing deals with lottery winners, making a lucrative and legitimate--if sometimes not-so-nice--living by taking advantage of their weaknesses . . . weaknesses he knew all too well.

Ed met hundreds of lottery winners and saw up-close the often hilarious, sometime sad outcome when great wealth is dropped on ordinary people. Once lottery winners realized their "dream-come-true" multimillion jackpots were not all that they were cracked up to be, Ed would knock on their door, offering them the cash they wanted-and often desperately need. This cash sometimes came at a high price, but winners were rarely in a position to walk the other way. As Ed learned, few of them had the financial savvy to keep up with the lottery-winner lifestyle. In fact, some just wanted their old lives back.

A charmingly neurotic gambler, Ed traveled deep into the heart of the country where he discovered the American Dream looks a lot like a day at the casino. And Ed knows casinos. In fact, his own taste for gambling gave him a unique insight into lottery winners: he intimately understood their mindset, making it that much easier to relate to them. And like lottery winners, Ed struggled to find balance in his own life as his increasing success earned him a bigger and bigger salary. Even as he relished his accomplishments, he grappled with the question: "If you are good at something that is bad for some people, does that make you a bad person?"

Ed Ugel takes the readers inside the captivating world of lottery winners and shows us how lotteries and gambling have become deeply inscribed in every aspect of American life shaping our image of success and good fortune. Money for Nothing is a witty, wise, and often outrageously funny account of high expectations and easy money.

And this is an amazon reader review:

To put it bluntly, this book was the FUNNIEST non-fiction book I have read this year!! Yeah, I play the lottery and have dreams of hitting it big (who doesn't?). But I for the life of me can't imagine hitting it big and then losing it all!!! This book was kinda voyeuristic for me because I got a glimpse into a lifestyle that I (might) like.

I also got a glimpse into the lives of people who won everthing and then LOST everything! I always wondered what goes through the mind of these people and how they lose it all. Well... Ed gives us a rare and funny insight to them and how he was once part of a company that helped them down this road! People before me have said that this book is funny and it it!! This book will have you laughing and shaking your head!

Ed has an extremely funny writing style and is very entertaining. I usually avoid non-fiction like Hillary Clinton and honest doners, but something about this book was just...well... just honest. This book should go straight to the top of your "to read" list.

 

 

Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

Lep

There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

    hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

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    Posted: September 23, 2007, 7:56 pm - IP Logged

    Roll Eyes ought to prove interesting

      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
      Wandering Aimlessly
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      Posted: September 24, 2007, 2:24 am - IP Logged

      Thanks - sounds like an interesting book. 

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
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        Posted: September 24, 2007, 9:45 am - IP Logged

        For all the discsussions we've had about cash option vs annuities, this is interesting:

         From the editorial review:

        "At age twenty-six, Ed found himself broke, knee-deep in gambling debt, and moving back into his parents' basement. It all changed, however, when he serendipitously landed a job as a salesman for The Firm--a company that offered up-front cash to lottery winners in exchange for their prize money, often paid in agonizingly small annual payments, some lasting up to twenty-five years."

        Justxploring, you know about these things- "offered up-front cash to lottery winners in exchange for their prize money" - that means cash right now for an annuity, right? (And always way less than face value). 

        So they would have ben beter off taking the cash option right from the get go? 

        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

        Lep

        There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
          Wandering Aimlessly
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          Posted: September 24, 2007, 10:55 am - IP Logged

          Every situation is different.  However, the more I think about the cash option, I more I prefer it.  I used to think that it made sense to take the annuity payments, especially if someone is afraid of making a bad investment or spending it frivolously.  Knowing every year you'll be receiving a check must be a comforting feeling.  However, so many things can happen, that maybe taking the lump sum is best.  It's also better for my beneficiaries when I die, but it depends on the amount too. If I "only" leave a million or 2, there's no estate tax anyway.

          But to answer your question, Coin Toss, I think some of these people would have blown their money anyway and taking the cash vs the annuity wouldn't have made any difference.  If people fail to plan properly, then they will eventually lose it all.  I'm not sure what "agonizingly small payments" means. 

            Raven62's avatar - binary
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            Posted: September 24, 2007, 11:02 am - IP Logged

            "I'm not sure what "agonizingly small payments" means."

            $8,000,000 per year! LOL!

            A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

              Raven62's avatar - binary
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              Posted: September 24, 2007, 11:12 am - IP Logged

              For all the discsussions we've had about cash option vs annuities, this is interesting:

               From the editorial review:

              "At age twenty-six, Ed found himself broke, knee-deep in gambling debt, and moving back into his parents' basement. It all changed, however, when he serendipitously landed a job as a salesman for The Firm--a company that offered up-front cash to lottery winners in exchange for their prize money, often paid in agonizingly small annual payments, some lasting up to twenty-five years."

              Justxploring, you know about these things- "offered up-front cash to lottery winners in exchange for their prize money" - that means cash right now for an annuity, right? (And always way less than face value). 

              So they would have ben beter off taking the cash option right from the get go? 

              It all boils down to the Time Value of Money, whether it be a Loan or an Annuity. In the case of an Annuity the Value Today is less than the Value in the Future.

              A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                BaristaExpress's avatar - BaristaExpressMX zpsfb0d8b5d.png
                Magnolia, Delaware
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                Posted: September 24, 2007, 1:34 pm - IP Logged

                It all boils down to the Time Value of Money, whether it be a Loan or an Annuity. In the case of an Annuity the Value Today is less than the Value in the Future.

                I Agree!  By George, this is the smartest comment I have seen in the LP forms since I joined!

                I have to say, it does seem some people here are finally getting smart to the fact that annuities are not the wisest move for anyone to do!

                I say tie up your own money in any investment vehicle you like, but if you find yourself in a bind and have to liquidate that investment and pay a small penalty, so be it! At least your not being taken to the cleaners by the JG Wentworth people, because your money is structured in an annuity!

                Keep dreaming the impossible dream, it just may come true! Thumbs Up

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                  Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                  Posted: September 24, 2007, 8:08 pm - IP Logged

                  I want to say that well, at least we don't hear about people who opt for annual payments "Doing the Jack Whitaker" and blowing it all or most of it, but going by the type of work this fellow in this book was doing I guess some of them do too- borrowing against money that hasn't come in yet, for one example.

                  It would really be tragic to pass up let's say a $25 million lump sum from the lottery only to turn it onto a $9 million dollar lump sum from one of these companies, if you got even that much.

                  Kind of a twisted "reverse loan sharking". 

                  Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                  Lep

                  There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                    rundown99's avatar - cigar

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                    Posted: September 25, 2007, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

                    I don't really need to buy the book, because I will remain anonymous if I ever win the jackpot anyway.  But this sounds like a great forewarning for people who do intend to go public after a jackpot win.

                    Smart lottery winners form trust to claim their winnings.  They send an attorney to the lottery headquarters to claim the prize in trust, so that ONLY the name of the trust is revealed.  And they tell NO ONE, especially relatives.

                    If you ever win a lottery and you are single, the only person you should ever marry is someone who was truly in love with you BEFORE you won the jackpot!

                      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                      Chief Bottle Washer
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                      Posted: September 25, 2007, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

                      You can find this topic discussed in the News forum, please add any discussion there:

                      http://www.lotterypost.com/news/163351

                      Thanks.

                       

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