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The Winner

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  42,355 ratings  ·  1,792 reviews
The Dream

She is twenty, beautiful, dirt-poor, and hoping for a better life for her infant daughter when LuAnn Tyler is offered the gift of a lifetime, a $100 million lottery jackpot. All she has to do is change her identity and leave the U.S. forever.

The Killer

It's an offer she dares to refuse...until violence forces her hand and thrusts her into a harrowing game of high-s
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  42,355 ratings  ·  1,792 reviews

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A.J. Sendall
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
The Winner – not!
I had seen the name many times, but had never read anything by David Baldacci until last week. That Baldacci is a prolific writer is evinced in any airport book store. I was expecting something light and easy like Grisham, but it was a whole lot worse.
The two main characters, LuAnn Tyler, and Jackson, are completely implausible, and at times self-contradictory. Jackson was supposed to be ‘terrifying’, we were told so repeatedly, but he was laughable at best. Baldacci also repea
Kristy James
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I started reading The Winner based on a recommendation from my eye doctor, of all people. Frankly I'd never heard of the author before, but decided to give it a shot. And I'm glad I did. I'm even more glad I gave up on the hardcover library book and, instead, got the Kindle version (it's much lighter!).

The Winner is a surprisingly interesting and good book. The characters seem very real and you choose your sides very early on. The plot is something else. Even though I'm a writer, I can't imagine
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book it was so good. A twist on the typical rags to riches tale. Fast paced thriller. It begs the question: what would you do to win the lottery? How would you spend those winnings?
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Almak by: Emily
Being highly recommended to me I was anxious to absorb myself reading a good book. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.

Primarily, I was disappointed with descriptive nudity, a masturbation scene and a sex scene, all of which could have been removed and the book as a whole would have been better.

Nonetheless, the premise held the possibility of a good story but it was just too predictable. There was only one surprise in the book and the beginning drug on forever. Baldacci takes over a hundred
Jul 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A single mother is offered a guarantee to win the lottery and after initial hesitation, accepts. Circumstances force her to leave the country but her eventual return is not welcomed by everyone.

My main problem with this book is that I could see the pieces, parts and elements of this book while reading it rather than ever reading it as a whole work. The protagonist needs to look sympathetic, so there will be an element added…here. The villain needs to escape from this situation, so he will have
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I've said it before, I'm a sucker for mysteries/crime/thrillers. I always have been. While other people were soaking up Judy Blume, I firmly ignored the conversations between God and Margaret and stayed up all night reading The Pelican Brief and The Client. Now, there are two questions that pop up given that information: the first being the question of how was I allowed to stay up all night at 13 (or so) the second is what was I really doing reading those books? To the first question I'll ...more
Ryan Sampey
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, the story line was brilliant and was one of David Baldaccis easier books to follow. A page turner from the start, I'd happily recommend this.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything by David Baldacci before even though I have a few of his books in my to-be-read pile. The Winner appealed to me because of the story about an individual that wins the mega lottery. Isn't that something that we all wish for? You bet it is.

LuAnn Tyler is offered the opportunity to win the mega lottery, even though it is not in a legal sense. She hums and haws about whether she is making the right decision but in the end decides to go through with the offer made by Mr. Ja
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Ever since school got out for the summer, oddly enough, I have been reading a lot.

I picked up a few books at a local church book sale.
I have heard really good things about David Baldacci (mainly because of the movie based on his book, Absolute Power) and I found this book for $.50 so I thought I would give it a try.

In fact, when handing my money to the cashier at the sale, the lady said that this was her favorite David Baldacci book. She had good taste.

Short overview for you:

LuAnn Tyler had
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
3.5 stars - I didn't agree with a lot of decisions made by the main characters, but it was an exciting enough read with an interesting villain.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers
My second Baldacci book and it did not disappoint! This is a fast-paced, thoroughly entertaining book...I was hooked on page one and stayed hooked through every page until the last. This would make a killer movie!
Randy Ortiz
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
I love David Baldacci. His books quickly cut to the chase and he is a master at developing unique and relatable characters. This book is no different. The villian is acceptional.

HOWEVER, Annie from Stephen King's Misery would have slit his throat on this one because the believability of the premise just wasn't there.

Because it is fiction, there is room for leeway, but the villian could have accomplished what he was trying to accomplish by much easier just didn't make sense to make oth
This book promised so much but delivered so little.
The first 100 pages and the last 100 pages were page turning but the bits in between just went on and on and on.
The main villain is a brilliant mastermind who has devised a way to rig the national lottery. To make it work he needs people to buy lottery tickets that he guarantees will win and make the ticket holder instant millionaires. In the process he, the villain, and the ticket holders go on to make unimaginable wealth.
Needless to say it's
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, own-copy
What would you do if you were dirt poor, uneducated and the single mother of an infant as well as finding out the baby's father was dealing drugs and is now dead at your feet and you probably killed the man who killed him. Would you agree to accept $100 million dollars from a rigged lottery?

LuAnn Tyler was all of those things and became involved with a psychopath, one of his former employees, an award winning reporter and an ex-FBI man in an effort to free herself from this man of many faces.

Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite Baldacci book. If you love a good mystery, this book is sure to please!
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Dirt-poor, bur beautiful LuAnn Tyler is giving an astounding opportunity the chance for a guaranteed Lottery win of $100 million lottery jackpot - to the the wealth all she has to do is change her identity and leave the U.S. forever!
Baldacci does what I feel James Patterson thinks he's doing.. Baldacci compose well thought out page turning suspense-mystery thrillers, of which this is probably my fave of his.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane Stewart
Above average plot with intricate developments, but it was missing the wow factor. Good but not great.

To let readers know where I'm coming from, my preferred genre is romance novels. The fact that I liked this should mean something since it is off genre for me. Throughout the book there was the underlying frustration of how can anyone ever stop this bad guy, but he gets it eventually. The story was excellent mechanically with good showing not telling. I would have liked more e
Linda Hart
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I do like reading Baldacci's mysteries. This has a unique fast-paced plot, with lots of twists and turns, and his characters are well developed. Each time I read one of his books I'm impressed with how different they are from each other and I wonder how he comes up with such varying scenarios and interesting characters. He is a very talented writer. There is no bad language and although there is a sex scene it's nothing compared toKen Follett or other popular mystery writers.
Marty Fried
I had added this to my list, but then discovered I had read it (audiobook version) a few years ago, but forgot it. That's the main reason I don't rate books like this. Even if I like it a lot, it's just not very memorable.

So, I'm sure I liked this book when I read it, and I partly remember it, but not really. I read it before I started using Goodreads, unfortunately.
Wenzel Roessler
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Baldacci has a way of deliberately giving details slowly, and this gives me anxiety reading his books! The plot in this book moves along fine and there are some great twists along the way. However I felt the characters were inconsistent in their actions and the villain of the story had abilities that were very far fetched.
Jerry B
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Published in 1997, it’s hard to believe that “Winner” is just our now famous author's third novel, in a book list now numbering several dozen works, including no less than eight different series, excluding moreover his young adult books. We have to admit that’s an astonishing output for only a little over 20 years of book-selling.

This early standalone tale is about an extremely intelligent criminal who has successfully fixed the national lottery so that a small number of previously poor recipie
Terri Lynn
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
LouAnn Tyler is poor white Georgia trailer trash. Her parents are dead and she is a waitress at the Number One Truck Stop where she keeps her 8 month old illegitimate daughter Lisa under the counter because the child's deadbeat father Duane is a piece of alcoholic drug-ridden trash. LouAnn is 20 and dropped out of school in the 7th grade and is an idiot. LouAnn, Duane, oh yes it is Bubba and his shack up Bubbette.

Then suddenly LouAnn is offered a chance by a strange man to win 100 million in a
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: suspense
LuAnn Tyler, a 20-year-old unwed mother of a baby girl trapped in poverty in rural Georgia, is offered a chance to win the (fixed) Lottery. Her fateful decision to accept the offer allows her to escape a frightening act of violence at home, but when she disobeys her handler and returns to the country after 10 years, he is determined to punish her. It’s a fast-paced thriller, and I could envision it as a movie. Perhaps in that format it could overcome some of the character extremes that stretch p ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-bingo, mystery, crap
1.5 stars
The premise had potential and Baldacci piqued my interest for about half the novel. But quickly, this story became repetitive and patronizing. I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes. The characters and plot went from intriguing to far-fetched, then ludicrous and finally a waste of my time. A down-and-out woman is given the chance of a lifetime in winning big in the lottery. Despite knowing that it is fixed, she jumps at the chance. Her secretive contact keeps hold of her winnings for 10 y
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not not one of Baldacci's best. The biggest problem is the antagonist- one of the literary world's omnipotent antagonists - always 2 steps ahead, has contacts everywhere, can find out anything, be anywhere, do anything- totally unrealistic. I just don't like this ploy. My second problem with this story is why the main character ever came back to the US. (Not a spoiler - its right on the cover's blurb). This is never explained. She didn't have family, friends or a place she longed for an ...more
This is one of the earlier book by David Baldacci and somehow he didn't have the mastery of his craft back then that he has now.
I don't know what it is, whether it's the plot, or the characters but I stumbled through the whole book and never was captivated by the whole story and I have read a lot of the recent books by Baldacci ( like the John Puller serie or the Will Robbie and I was captivated by those and couldn't drop them).
Anyway, somewhat of a miss for me, but that will not keep me away fr
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lotto winners beware!! What an incredible concept and so very wonderfully composed by another master of the crime/thriller/mystery genre. A criminal mastermind dupes struggling women into buying lottery tickets for the monthly nationwide drawing with promises of a $100 million payoff.
What happens afterwards to many of these 'winners', well, let's just say they would have been better off saying HELL NO. Not so fast, should someone turn this depraved evil genius down on his offer they would be, uh
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
"The Winner".
Loses. My first David Baldacci book, he seems quite popular, so I though I would give one if his books a read.
Maybe I chose the wrong one, but I thought this book was terrible. The one thing I will give it is that I won't call it boring; I definitely wanted to read what happened next. That being said, I also wouldn't call it "fast-paced" either. It dragged through certain areas, and then skipped through some I thought would have needed more attention and detail, then lingered too l
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David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequ ...more

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