Big On Small: The Official Podcast for Small Business talks with Mark Hutchinson. Discover the shared connections between lottery tickets, Progressive Web Apps, InspireHUB and Nelson Nelson Mandela.


In this episode, we’ve hit the jackpot! Literally. The lottery is a staple for the convenience store small business owner. But did you know that our obsession with winning big with lottery tickets was also a spark that helped level the playing field as apartheid was falling in South Africa, with the help of none other than Nelson Mandela?

This is one small business case study that has an absolutely fascinating story behind it, complete with Hollywood-style, feel-good, underdogs and an ending that leads to the birth of our own small business, InspireHUB! In this week’s episode, we catch up with Mark Hutchinson, whose name you’ve probably never heard, but who was instrumental in setting up many of the world’s lotteries and paving the way to a whole lot of worthy-cause good.

Big on Small, The Official Small Business Podcast, explores the big ideas that are helping small organizations survive and thrive. Hosts Karolyn Hart and Samantha Castro interview the inspiring people who are running small businesses, agencies, towns, charities, schools and teams.

Here's why we're so excited about sharing this episode and the man who is such an important and beloved part of our own small business origin story with you!


Ep. 005 - Against All Odds with Mark Hutchinson

Pepsi Cola was a family business for the Hutchinson’s. Many people within Mark’s family participated in the franchise in some way, including Mark. But in 1983, a serendipitous racquetball game between Mark's dad and one of lottery's pioneers, Owen Hickey, led to Mark leaving to teach the new Colorado lottery how to run a sales and marketing system for instant lottery tickets.

This began an adventure that had Mark travelling around the world, shaping lottery systems, and becoming one of the "founding seven" of the biggest lottery brand name in the world: Powerball, which today raises over $22 billion for worthy causes.

And there's the catch: Mark, like so many other entrepreneurs, was driven by a desire to not only grow his own bottom line but to help more good people do more good. It's the trajectory that led him to a partnership with the Goodson-Todman team -- the powerhouse behind Price is Right, Family Feud and some of t.v.'s biggest shows -- and, ultimately, on a trek to South Africa in one of its most historic times, the end of apartheid.

Tune into this week's episode to learn how the call to help overcome the red tape that stifled the South African lottery system became a mission to help end the racism endemic in not only business but in a healthcare system fraught with peril for the nation's most vulnerable: children.

Mark Hutchinson and Family with Nelson MandelaMark's path not only led him to answer the call of Nelson Mandela but would lead to reaching out to our now Founder and President, Karolyn Hart, to find creative ways of using technology to empower change through one of the world's first progressive web apps.

Our name, InspireHUB, really did have an inspired beginning! Listen to Mark unpack that with Karolyn, with a heaping helping of takeaways that you can apply to power your own small business adventures!

Click here to go to the Big on Small podcast page for this episode, and to find out exactly what Mark's daughter said to cause Mandela to burst into laughter and this huge smile.

Mark Hutchinson and his family with Nelson Mandela

Big on Small - The Official Small Business Podcast

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Looking for more small business help?


The Ultimate Small Business Survival Guide
The Ultimate Small Business Survival Guide is Here

We've been helping InspireHUB clients not just survive during this time but THRIVE! We collected all of our advice and made it available for FREE as our great big give-back during this difficult time. Included in this FREE Guide:

  • Transformation Readiness Assessment
  • Practical Marketing Help
  • Proven Strategies to Pivot Your Company

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Loving Remote: a Path to Leading an Inspirational Culture that Employees Love!
Lead an Inspirational Remote Work Culture that Employees Love!

At InspireHUB, we get it. We've been a 100% remote workplace for more than 7 years, and are the first to admit we were UN-InspireHUB while we learned to grow into it.

We put this book together because we saw so many people struggling as they've had to adapt to this new way of working overnight.

Here's how you can use it to grow YOUR small business too ...

Included in this FREE Guide:

  • Why your remote team is experiencing fatigue.
  • Understanding how leaders and employees have vastly different remote experiences.
  • The lines you cannot cross with employee privacy when working remote.
  • How to gamify your remote workforce.
  • The rules of virtual engagement when it comes to working remotely.
  • How the rules of meeting etiquette change in virtual meetings and why you must understand the difference!

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Topics: progressive web apps, PWA, small business, South Africa, origin story, leadership development, Nelson Mandela, worthy causes, success strategies, pandemic, podcast, growth strategies, grow your business, business insights, Big on Small, racial equality, Mark Hutchinson, Lotix, Owen Hickey, Ubuntu, apartheid, American dream, lottery, Powerball

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