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Download Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions, by Edward Ugel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (176 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edward Ugel Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 the often hilarious, sometimes sad outcomes that occur 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Ugel’s roller-coaster ride makes for dizzying, sometimes harrowing reading. Confessional, un-self-protecting, and bitterly funny, it exposes the human failings of his customers, his colleagues, himself, in a personal memoir of greed and hope.”

    New York Times

  • “[A] sordid—and highly engaging—tale.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “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.”

    USA Today

  • “Narrator Arthur Morey gives an exceptional interpretation of the author’s seductive 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.”


  • “Ugel’s natural showmanship makes for entertaining reading. He does little to pretty up his misdeeds…while delivering a well-deserved scathing indictment of the government-backed lottery system.”

    Library Journal

  • “We all have much to learn from the author’s important perspective on the proliferation of gambling opportunities. Written in an informal, sometimes humorous manner, this book contains excellent information for library patrons.”


  • “A breezy, funny writer…By turns amusing and alarming.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This funny, eye-opening memoir explores the American mania for gambling and the dark side of hitting the jackpot.”

    Details Magazine

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Joanna | 2/12/2014

    " It's partly about how winning the lottery totally fails to fix your life, partly about how and why businesses turn your yearly lottery payment into a heap of cash (lump sum) for you, and partly about what Ugel was like when he worked in this business. It was pretty interesting, and parts were funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Randy Ray | 1/10/2014

    " I enjoyed reading this, but I felt like a lot of information was missing. It seemed likes the book was more a series of vignettes than an actual cohesive story, and most of the characters weren't as fleshed out as I would have liked. That being said, he's a good, entertaining writer, and the book gives a good overview of the other side of the lottery culture. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Ray Charbonneau | 12/15/2013

    " More of a salesman's memoirs than the interesting study of lotteries and their winners that's promised on the book jacket. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nancy | 12/2/2013

    " I heard the author in a radio interview, and so read the book. Edward Ugel worked for the "lump sum industry", making a living getting lottery winners to sell their tickets for a price. The Firm took a huge cut, the lottery winner got quick cash (instead of having to wait for a future check), and the Firm's salesman went looking for a new lottery winner. To be a salesman in the business one had to be a bit of a gambler. To sell the deal to the lottery winner took guts. It is a world I could hardly imagine existed. "

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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.