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Jackpot
Cover of Jackpot
Jackpot
by Nic Stone
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From the author of the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin—which Angie Thomas, the bestselling author of The Hate U Give, called "a must read"—comes a pitch-perfect romance that examines class, privilege, and how a stroke of good luck can change an entire life.
Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas 'n' Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she—with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan—can find the ticket holder who hasn't claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite...or divide?
Nic Stone, the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out, creates two unforgettable characters in one hard-hitting story about class, money—both too little and too much—and how you make your own luck in the world.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin—which Angie Thomas, the bestselling author of The Hate U Give, called "a must read"—comes a pitch-perfect romance that examines class, privilege, and how a stroke of good luck can change an entire life.
Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas 'n' Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she—with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan—can find the ticket holder who hasn't claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite...or divide?
Nic Stone, the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out, creates two unforgettable characters in one hard-hitting story about class, money—both too little and too much—and how you make your own luck in the world.
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  • Kindle Book
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    670
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book Mo NO Money, Mo Problems

    Oh, the irony of counting out change for a fifty-­dollar bill while "Mo Money, Mo Problems" plays in the background. "Sir, I'm out of tens and twenties," I say. "I'll have to give you fives and singles . . . is that okay?"

    It has to be, obviously.

    The man smiles and nods enthusiastically. "Perfectly fine," he says, dusting off the lapels of his (expensive-­looking) suit. "Matter of fact, keep a couple of those singles and give me a Mighty Millions ticket with the Mightyplier thing. I'll slide a few of the other dollars into the Salvation Army bucket out front."

    Despite my desire to snort—­I know one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but based on the Mercedes-­Benz key fob lying on the counter, I'd say this guy doesn't need two hundred and twelve million more dollars—­I force the corners of my mouth to lift. "That's very generous of you, sir." Barf. "Nothing like a cheerful giver!"

    The man takes his $43.74 in change, then grabs his mechanically separated meat stick and bottle of neon-­green Powerade. "Thanks so much"—­he looks at my name tag—­"Rico?"

    "That's me!" I chirp.

    "Hmm. Interesting name for a cute girl such as yourself. And what interesting eyes you have . . . two different browns!" Now he's winking.

    Oh God.

    "Thank you, sir. And thank you for shopping at the Gas 'n' Go."

    He tosses a Merry Christmas! over the checkout counter before rotating on the heel of his fancy shoe and strutting out like he just won the lotto.

    Merry Christmas. Pfffft. Not much real "merry" about a ten-­hour shift on Christmas Eve. It'll almost be Christmas when I walk out of this joint . . . and then I get to spend thirty minutes walking home since the one public bus in this town stopped running hours ago. Good thing the crime rate in (s)Nor(e)cross, GA, is relatively low and it's not that cold out.

    I look at my Loki watch—­a birthday gift from my baby brother, Jax, that I never leave home without despite how childish it makes me look. Ninety-­seven minutes to freedom.

    "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" comes pouring out of the speakers (note to self: ask Mr. Zoughbi who the heck made this playlist), and I drop down onto my stool and put my chin in my hand. Truth be told, the influx of holiday cheer really has been a nice reprieve. Seems like every day there's a new political scandal or gun attack or government-­sanctioned act of inhumanity or threat of nuclear war, but then Thanksgiving hit, and it felt like a collective exhale.

    The bell over the door dings, snapping me back, and the cutest little old lady I've ever seen makes her way toward the counter. She's tiny—­definitely under five feet and maybe ninety pounds soaking wet—­with dark brown skin and a little pouf of white hair. The Christmas tree on her sweater has real lights, and when I smile this time, it's for real.

    "Welcome to Gas 'n' Go," I say as she steps up to the counter.

    "Why, thank you, dear. Aren't you just lovely?"

    Cheeks are warm. "Well, you're looking pretty lovely yourself, madam," I reply.

    She giggles.

    "I mean it. That's a gorgeous sweater."

    "Oh, you stop that," she says. "And anyhow, shouldn't you be at home with your family? Take it from an old bird: you don't wanna work your life away, now."

    I smile again. "Yes, ma'am. I'll be blowing this Popsicle stand in a little over an hour."

    "Good." She nods approvingly.

    "So how can I help you on this cool Christmas Eve?"

    She leans forward over the counter a bit,...
About the Author-
  • Nic Stone is the author of the New York Times bestselling Dear Martin and Odd One Out, which Booklist called "essential reading" in a starred review. Jackpot, her third novel, is a life-affirming story about the humanity in people, no matter how little or how much is in their bank account.
    Nic lives in Atlanta with her adorable little family.
    @getnicced
    nicstone.info
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 5, 2019
    On Christmas Eve, Gas ’n’ Go employee Rico Danger, 17, sells two lottery tickets to a woman with memory troubles. After Rico realizes that one of them may be worth $106 million, she begins obsessing about the winning ticket’s whereabouts. Rico’s mother works too much, mismanages her meager earnings, and refuses to go on Medicaid; Rico handles the family’s finances and works double shifts to make rent; and her little brother keeps getting sick. When nobody claims the jackpot after several days, Rico enlists classmate Zan Macklin, a wealthy computer whiz, to help her track down the customer. As they work together, she and Zan careen toward a romance layered with intersectional issues: multiethnic Rico is believably resentful about her family’s situation; Zan, part white and part Latinx, is often oblivious to his privilege and high-handed with his wealth; and neither believes they have much choice for their future. Interstitials by objects (“A Word from the Right Ticket”) occasionally disrupt the first-person narration, and the primary relationship suffers from an insufficiently characterized male lead. But Stone (Odd One Out) authentically portrays the precarious, terrifying act of living with far less than is needed to survive, and its financial and emotional fallout. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2019
    Seventeen-year-old Rico's family is living paycheck to paycheck and way beyond their means, even with Rico's practically full-time job and her mother's long hours. When a customer purchases the winning ticket at the Gas 'n' Go where she works but doesn't claim it, Rico begins searching for the elderly woman she believes to be the winner. She enlists the help of Zan, the superrich heir of Macklin Enterprises in their hometown of Norcross, Georgia. Rico tentatively begins to hope in the future as her feelings for the privileged and complex Zan and her camaraderie with new friends finally start balancing out her family's struggles. Filled with rich character development, whip-smart dialogue, and a layered exploration of financial precariousness, Stone (Odd One Out, 2018, etc.) touches on rising health care costs, the effect of illness in the family, interracial dating, and biracial identity. Intermittent passages from the perspectives of inanimate objects--including the winning ticket--around the characters add humor, and the short chapters inject the narrative with suspense. Rico is white, Latinx, and black. Zan is Latinx and white, and they live in a predominantly white neighborhood. Readers will have to suspend disbelief at the book's conclusion, but this romantic coming-of-age novel will have them hoping for their own lucky ending. Stone delivers a thoughtful and polished novel about class, privilege, and relative poverty. (Fiction. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2019

    Gr 8 Up-Seventeen-year-old Rico Danger (pronounced DON-gur) has never wondered what it would be like to win the lottery, even though her mom isn't great at handling the little money they have and is too proud to sign up for the public assistance they desperately need. That is, until the Georgia Gas 'n' Go where Rico works sells one of two winning tickets for a 212 million dollar jackpot. As time passes and the ticket goes unclaimed, Rico is positive that she knows who bought it and is determined to track the kind woman down. After a chance encounter with computer whiz Zan Macklin, one of the richest guys at school, the duo band together to follow the mystery woman's trail, discover their different attitudes about life, bond over their biracial identities and complicated family relationships, and start to fall for each other. Chapters with inanimate objects' point of view are interspersed into the first-person narration, giving clues to the plot and levity to serious topics of race, class, privilege, and poverty. While secondary characters could have been more fleshed out, Stone delivers a deftly constructed tale that is equal parts satisfying wish-fulfillment and light-handed lessons learned. VERDICT A must-purchase for teen collections of all sizes, this is a real winner.-Brittany Drehobl, Morton Grove Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Random House Children's Books
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