|About the Book|
James Oswald Neville, Jon to family and friends, always secretes his weekly lottery ticket in a concealed compartment at the back of his wallet. He makes it a rule to wait until the morning following the two Lotto draws that take place each week toMoreJames Oswald Neville, Jon to family and friends, always secretes his weekly lottery ticket in a concealed compartment at the back of his wallet. He makes it a rule to wait until the morning following the two Lotto draws that take place each week to check his numbers via his regular Thursday and Sunday newspapers. On the morning of Sunday 26 October he sees, to great excitement, he has the six winning numbers (only one winning ticket for a jackpot of 9.7m) and sets off for home to tell his wife and family the unbelievable news. On the way he is mugged, seriously injured and his wallet is stolen. The muggers, two errant juveniles, empty the wallet of cash and credit cards but do not find the lottery ticket- they discard the empty wallet by throwing it from Londons Tower Bridge. It lands on the deck of a privately owned Grand Banks trawler passing under the bridge while bound for Holland. The wallet is picked up and, thought to be empty, is casually tossed into the map drawer in the boats cabin to be all but forgotten. Nevilles injuries are life-threatening and he is confined to hospital where he remains comatose for the next three months and, since no one is aware that he has/had the winning jackpot ticket, there is wide speculation in the press and other media as to whom the claimant is and why the huge jackpot has not been claimed. Meanwhile the wallet finds its way via Amsterdam to Hamburg as a result of the boat being sold and the empty wallet being passed on. Neville awakens from the coma after three months but not before his two sons have realised the unclaimed lottery ticket contains their fathers favourite numbers- numbers relative to birth and year dates, house numbers, etc- the same numbers he has entered consistently week upon week, without fail, since the 1994 launch of the lottery. His youngest son Thomas, a sports journalist, sets out on the trail of the missing ticket. The action moves swiftly from London to Amsterdam, Hamburg and to the islands of the Caribbean as lead after lead comes to nothing. At the end of many circuitous and frustrating trails the ticket is eventually found. The return of the ticket to the rightful owner is handled, on behalf of the finder, by a UK based publicist named Crawford Maxwell, who mismanages events leading up to the handover and, thereby, causes wide dismay and consternation. There is love interest combined with glimpses of Champions League and Premiership football as Thomas Neville, in his capacity as a sports reporter, hunts down the lost ticket. Finally the jackpot is claimed and the money distributed by Jon in interesting and compassionate ways. The count-down from 180 days (the books title and the period during which a Lotto claims remain current) to D(eadline)-Day, the 180th day, keeps the tension running at high as the days pass without the ticket being found.