New novel with lottery plot features Albert Lea setting

Published 9:37 am Friday, November 18, 2011

By Cedrick Shande-Jones,

The novel “BlizzardBall” is a mystery thriller that revolves around the intrigue of a missing $750 million lottery ticket and the lives of those unlucky enough, or lucky enough depending on the perspective taken, to be involved in this realistically fictitious plot.

And much of the story is set in Minnesota, with part of it right here in Albert Lea.

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For instance, the start of Chapter 31 reads: “After the lottery ticket transfer, Alita drove back to Brian’s farm in Albert Lea.” And in the same chapter, it says: “Alita drove through Albert Lea toward the interstate.” The city dots the plot.

Spotlighting Minnesota’s infamous winter and a deadly game that propels readers into a world of probability, politics, international ticket scalpers and counterfeiters, to name only a few of the many interesting plot devices, Albert Lea, with its colorful history and grandiose architecture, adds an amount of spice to a page-turner story concept.

CNN’s Larry King has also reviewed “BlizzardBall” saying it was, “A rip roaring ride on the roller coaster of luck … smart, wacky, criminally entertaining. A winner.”

A summary of the book says: “Against the backdrop of a cold Minnesota winter, lottery players hold their collective breath at the thought of winning big on Christmas Day. The jackpot has run up to a red-hot $750 million, the world’s richest prize. A bungled convenience store heist triggers a happenstance theft of winning lottery tickets and trips up an insider’s scheme to rig the results.”

The author, Dennis Kelly, will be at Book World at Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Kelly has worked in promotional marketing for more than 25 years. He has gained extensive experience developing and administering sweepstakes, lottery, games and contests.

Kelly said it was only natural then that a book about winning the lottery should include a lottery of its own, granting the readers a greater immersion into the story. Each individual book has a unique code which is entered on the books website for a chance to win cash prizes, even possibly $1 million. For more information concerning the “BlizzardBall” lottery, visit the website,