The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13


By Honest Lee

By Matthew J. Gilbert

Illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy

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As heard by kids everywhere on the Echo Dot Kids Edition, the Classroom 13 books are a hilarious new chapter book series-perfect for reluctant readers and fans of Roald Dahl, Captain Underpants, and Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13 is the first title in a series about the students of a very unlucky classroom. The easy-to-read chapters are full of humor, action, secret codes, and fun-and will prompt hours of conversation among friends, families, and classmates. The final chapter encourages young readers to write their own chapter and send it in to the author, Honest Lee.

When unlucky teacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse wins the lottery, she shares her winnings with her class-giving each student over a BILLION DOLLARS!

You might think this was nice, but it was not. It was a nasty idea. With great money comes awful allergies, terrible taxes, violent volcanoes, and other pesky problems. As the students of Classroom 13 are about to learn, winning the lottery is not always lucky.



Unlucky Ms. Linda

When unlucky schoolteacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse woke up Monday morning, she decided it would be another unlucky day. And she was right.

First, she put too much milk on her toast and too much butter in her coffee. Then she forgot her umbrella. It wasn't raining, but she used it to keep birds away. (For some reason, birds liked to swoop down at Ms. Linda and pull out her hair.)

On her way to work, Ms. Linda's car got a flat tire. No one would stop to help. She didn't have a spare tire, she'd left her phone at home, and it started to rain. When she walked to the nearest gas station to ask for help, the cashier was very rude. He snapped, "If you want to use my phone, you have to buy something."

Ms. Linda looked in her purse. All she had was a single dollar bill. "What can I buy for one dollar?"

The cashier pointed to three items. The first was a candy bar. The second was a pine-scented air freshener. And the third was a lottery ticket.

Ms. Linda had a mouth full of cavities, so she passed on the candy bar.

Ms. Linda was very allergic to pine, so she shook her head at the air freshener (after a very violent sneeze).

So Ms. Linda chose the lottery ticket. Being unlucky, she tossed it in her purse without a second thought. She would not win. She never won anything.

After Ms. Linda paid for the lottery ticket, the cashier let her use his phone to call a tow truck and a taxi.

When Ms. Linda finally got to her school, she was soaking wet and very late. The principal gave her the evil eye as she rushed down the hall in her heels—click clack, click clack, click clack—all the way to her classroom. Her classroom was number 13—which, if you don't know, is a very unlucky number.

"Oh, students, I apologize terribly for being terribly late," Ms. Linda said. "I've had quite the terribly—I mean, terrible—morning!"

Of her twenty-seven students, twenty-six of them were present. Santiago Santos was at home with the sniffles. (The poor child was sick more often than not.)

Of the twenty-six students who were in class, only twenty-four of them were awake. Of those twenty-four, seven were playing video games on their phones. Of the seventeen left, four were gossiping (which is not nice), and three were drawing pictures of butts (which is hilarious).

Of the ten students left, four were playing on the Internet, three were talking about TV shows, two were reading comic books, and one was picking her nose. (She could almost get the booger, but it was just out of reach.)

But of all twenty-seven students, none of them were happy that their teacher was here. They were hoping for an entire day of goofing off.

Well, except Olivia. Olivia raised her hand but spoke without waiting to be called on. "Can we start today's lesson already? I'm eager to learn." Olivia was very smart, but she was also very rude.

"Of course, of course!" Ms. Linda said. She pushed her glasses up on her nose and tried to straighten her damp hair (which was a mess because of the birds). "What shall we learn about today? Let's start with current events."

"My dad says the only important news in the world right now is the lottery," said Isabella. She had a horse on her shirt, a horse on her backpack, and a horse barrette in her hair. (Can you tell she liked horses?) "Right now, the lottery is worth twenty-eight billion dollars!"

"Oh my!" Ms. Linda said. She wrote 28,000,000,000 on the board. "That is a very big number indeed—after all, it has nine zeroes. Twenty-eight billion dollars is a lot of money. Who would like to do some math?"

"Boo!" some of the students shouted.

"Ce cours est nul!" shouted Hugo, who was from France and spoke only in French.

Ms. Linda remembered her lottery ticket and pulled it out of her purse. "Let's make it fun, then. This morning, I bought a lottery ticket. This lottery ticket cost one dollar. If I win two dollars, what percent is that?"

Only Olivia raised her hand.

"Do you think you'll win?" Ximena asked. "I hear the odds of winning the lottery are less likely than the odds of getting struck by lightning."

"I have heard the same thing," Ms. Linda said. "It is much more likely that I'll get struck by lightning than win the lottery. After all, I am very unlucky."

"If you win, can I have some of the money?" asked Fatima.

"Ooh, me too!" said Jayden Jason James (who other students called Triple J).

All the students wanted some of the lottery money. Ms. Linda shrugged. "I tell you what, class. If I do win—which is very unlikely—I promise to split my earnings evenly with every single one of you."

All the students in Classroom 13 shouted, "Really?!" (Except Hugo. He shouted, "Sacrebleu!")

"Of course," Ms. Linda said. "I made a promise, and I must keep my word."

The students hopped up from their desks and huddled together in the middle of the class, whispering among themselves. Finally, they returned to their seats, and Ethan Earhart spoke up. "Ms. Linda? We value your word, but we would feel much more comfortable with your promise if we could get it in writing. Would you mind signing a contract and pinkie-swearing to share the money if you win?"

Ms. Linda thought creating a contract was a good lesson for the class. So together, they drew up a contract, which Ms. Linda and every student signed. Then, one by one, every student in Ms. Linda's class walked to the front of the room and did a pinkie swear with Ms. Linda. For the rest of the day, the students were nicer than usual. Perhaps Ms. Linda's luck was changing.

That day after school, as Ms. Linda walked home, she was struck by lightning—twice.


Lucky Ms. Linda

When schoolteacher Ms. Linda LaCrosse woke up on Tuesday morning, she was in the hospital. She had survived both lightning strikes, and everyone kept saying, "You are very lucky!"

On Wednesday, when Ms. Linda LaCrosse woke up in her own home, she decided it would be a very lucky day for a change.

And she was right.

First, she put the right amount of milk into her coffee and the right amount of butter on her toast. Then she turned on her TV and saw the winning numbers for the lottery.

Ms. Linda LaCrosse had won.

When Ms. Linda received her winnings, she did exactly as she said she would and split the winnings with her students.

"Are you serious?!" asked Preeya.

"I am very serious," said Ms. Linda LaCrosse.

"But why don't you just take the money and run?!" asked Liam. "That's what I would do."

"Well, then it's a good thing that I won and you did not," said their teacher. She wore nice new clothes and had fancy laser eye surgery, so no more contacts. Her hair also looked very nice. Now that she had a limo and a chauffeur, the birds never had the chance to pester her.

"Are you really going to give us equal shares of the money?" asked William (who didn't trust anybody).

"Of course," said Ms. Linda. "A promise is a promise. What kind of teacher would I be if I didn't keep my word?"

In this lottery, Ms. Linda was the only winner—which meant she now had $28,000,000,000 in her bank account. "Twenty-eight billion dollars divided by one teacher and twenty-seven students equals one billion dollars each—"

"Hold on!" shouted Ethan. He held up the contract. "You only made a promise to the students who were in class that day! Santiago Santos was home sick."

"Yeah!" the students shouted.

"Wait, what?" said Santiago with a sniffle. (He was still sick.)

"But Santiago is part of our class," said Ms. Linda, "even if he was home sick that day." Ms. Linda wanted to be fair.

"Nope! No way! Nuh-uh," the other students disagreed.


  • "The short, easy-to-read chapters and wry humor will appeal to fans of Captain Underpants and Wayside School."—Kirkus Reviews
  • "...these brief and funny fantasies revel in the tantalizing possibilities of insta-wealth."—Publishers Weekly

On Sale
Jun 6, 2017
Page Count
128 pages

Honest Lee

About the Author

Honest Lee is a liar! You can’t trust a thing he writes. He insists that his stories are true. And they’re totally not! Then again, I could be Honest Lee, which would mean I’m lying and my stories are true. What’s the truth? I have no idea. Honestly.

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Matthew J. Gilbert

About the Author

Matthew J. Gilbert is one of many Matthew Gilberts. Seriously. There’s like a trillion of them. This particular Matthew Gilbert writes stories and has a nearly perfect mustache. When he’s not writing about Classroom 13, he’s watching monster movies, eating tacos, and singing made-up songs about his cats.

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