Pot of Gold, by Judith Michael

Cover ImageFinished 4-14-09, rating 2.5/5, fiction, pub. 1993

“Claire won the lottery on a Wednesday afternoon in May, the same afternoon that Emma graduated from high school, the dog ran away, and the land lord raised the rent.”

first line of book

Claire Goddard, a woman in her mid 30’s, has a job she likes, a daughter she loves, and a friend as close as a sister.  Then her weekly lottery ticket is a winner.  Sixty Million Dollars!  She quits her job, buys a million dollar home within minutes of seeing it, takes in an old woman claiming to be an aunt (or cousin), and begins spending her winnings at a fast pace.  On a celebratory cruise to Alaska Claire and her daughter, Emma, fall prey to the charms of Quintin and Brix Eiger.  Suddenly Emma wants to skip college and become a model for the Eiger’s cosmetic company and win the heart of Brix.  And Claire finds herself in the inner circle of the wealthy in the arms of Quintin.

Winning $60 million in the lottery could be the ultimate American dream.  And Claire spends it fast and furious like most lottery winners, which is fine except she never really seemed to grasp the absurdity of her decisions.  One her first decisions was letting a homeless woman con her way into her home and life.  And when given the option of going anywhere in the world, money is obviously not an issue, she chooses an Alaskan cruise.  Nothing against Alaska, I’d like to take a cruise there someday myself, but given the extravagance of her monetary spending it was a very odd choice. 

I found it a little boring.  I must confess if I had accidentally left this on the plane with a few hundred pages left I wouldn’t have been upset.  I did not connect with any of the characters.  Claire was nice enough, but lacked wit or a sharp intelligence.  And the point of view changed often with no notice or obvious reason.  I really wanted to like it more, but I didn’t.  But I wouldn’t mind winning $60 million in the lottery.  Even though I’ve never purchased a lottery ticket.