Winning Against the Odds: My Life in Gambling and Politics

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Winning Against the Odds: My Life in Gambling and Politics by Stuart Wheeler

Winning Against the Odds tells the fascinating, eccentric story of one of England’s most fascinating and eccentric men.

Stuart Wheeler went to Eton and Oxford. He was an officer in the Welsh Guards, a barrister, an investment banker and a major donor to the Conservative Party.

You might think that he has led a life of impeccably conformist upper-class respectability. You’d be wrong. For Wheeler is also an illegitimate child adopted at the age of two, a maverick businessman who made his fortune on the back of ‘the most brilliant idea that anyone had had of his generation’ and a devoted gambler who was told to stop playing Blackjack for being too successful at a top Las Vegas casino.

He played cards with Lord Lucan two nights before his infamous disappearance, invented spread-betting on shares with the creation in 1974 of IG Index and gave William Hague’s Conservatives £5 million (still the biggest political donation in British history) before being expelled from the Tories, joining UKIP and becoming a key figure in Vote Leave during the Brexit referendum campaign.

Forthright, principled and always entertaining, Winning Against the Odds is a story of bets won and lost, of outrageous personalities and dramatic events, and of a singular mind that engages with the world around it in a completely unique and compelling way.

228 pages, hardback, published October