Winning Against the Odds

My Life in Gambling and Politics

Stuart Wheeler



ISBN: 9781846892950

PUBLICATION DATE: September 25, 2019

CATEGORY: Biographies

BINDING: Hardback

EXTENT: 278 pages

Also available as: Audiobook, Ebook


Winning Against the Odds tells the captivating 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 has been thrown out of more than one Las Vegas casino.

He played cards with Lord Lucan two nights before his infamous disappearance, effectively invented spread-betting 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.


Meet the author Stuart Wheeler

Stuart Wheeler was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford and completed National Service in the Welsh Guards. After practising for three years as a barrister, he spent ten years in merchant banking before founding the spread-betting company IG Index in 1974. A tireless campaigner against torture, he is a supporter of, amongst others, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and Reprieve. In 2001, Stuart gave £5 million to the Conservative party, the largest donation in British political history. He was subsequently UKIP’s treasurer, and was also on the board of Vote Leave. He sadly passed away in July 2020, leaving behind three doting daughters.