If you’re like most of us, you’ve wished friends “Good luck!” more than once, and you’ve received your share of lucky wishes, too. But what exactly do we mean by good luck?

Author Lilian Duval suggests that good luck is a happenstance that makes it possible for you to be happy. Good luck can mean acing a test, landing a job, getting a raise, or winning the jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery. Some people think that would be the greatest luck of all.

But have you ever wondered why lottery winners don’t seem to live happily ever after?

We’ve all heard stories about lottery winners who seem to have won it all — endless wealth, permanent security, freedom from debt — only to lose it all, and end up worse off than they started. They squander their money. They lose their friends. Their close relationships fall apart.

What would YOU do if you won the Mega Millions? Pay off bills? Buy a house or a car? Send your kids to private schools and colleges? Take a world tour?

Make a list of ten things you would do on an unlimited budget, and then imagine how happy those expenditures would make you ... or would they? Acquiring things and being rich are goals many of us strive for. In reality, are fabulously wealthy people happier than the rest of us?

To see how someone who could never rub two pennies together manages after winning more cash than he can handle, read You Never Know and land right in the middle of the world of the privileged. You’re in for a big surprise!

Lilian Duval’s novel You Never Know looks deep inside the mind of Tobias, a lottery winner who buys a Mega Millions ticket, just as a whim, in the commuter train station. It’s the first time he’s ever played. And he wins—BIG!

But then what happens? N o matter how hard he tries to ward off disaster, Tobias discovers that good luck can lead to problems he never thought he’d have. How does he cope with overwhelming good luck? How would anyone? Read You Never Know and take the ride of your life!

What happens when an ordinary person becomes extraordinary?

Tobias starts out in life much the same as any of us—not rich, not poor, with imperfect parents and unlimited ambition. When he’s 20 years old, his future is altered in irreparable ways after a tragic car accident pushes him down a new path. The once-promising anthropology major is forced to abandon his dreams in order to care for his orphaned, brain-damaged younger brother.

In his late thirties, Tobias works in a bookstore trying desperately to make ends meet to support his family. His daily grind only reinforces the sadness that broken dreams and bad luck bring in their wake.

How many times have you heard someone say, “If only I won the lottery.”

When Tobias finds he has won the Mega Millions lottery, his unimaginable bad luck seems to be turning into unimaginable good luck … or is it?

Over peaks and valleys, this uplifting journey challenges the limits of luck, life, and what we value most.

Find out more about the complications of Tobias’s friendship and rivalry with his best friend, Martin; the effects of all this bad luck and good luck on his marriage; and the struggles of his brother, Simeon, once a talented cartoonist in ... You Never Know.

Lilian Duval’s inspiration for this novel about good luck and bad luck was a 1978 psychological study that asked the provocative question, “Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative?” The researchers, Philip Brickman and Dan Coates of Northwestern University and Ronnie Janoff-Bulman of the University of Massachusetts, compared a group of major lottery winners with a group of paralyzed accident victims and a control group. Their study appears on the Web and can be viewed by anyone. 

In the words of book reviewer Dr. Jay Thomas, Distinguished University Professor, School of Professional Psychology, Pacific University: “Are our lives ruled by chance or by ourselves? It is apparent that, in Tobias’s case at least, his life was better when he achieved the three Cs: commitment, challenge, and control. Is that true for all of us? As much as I’d like to win the lottery, I can be happy without it. But I’m willing to take the chance of winning and keeping that happiness. The key is to roll with the vicissitudes of chance, take advantage of good luck, and be hardy in the face of bad luck; but not let chance dictate who we are. Duval’s book reminds us all that even in the face of good luck we must continue to take both hardiness and happiness seriously; they come as much from inside as out.”

For more about You Never Know and to order the book, visit Lilian Duval’s website:

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