Hitting the Jackpot With Franchising

When Belinda Poblete of New York won the lottery, it changed her life. In order to turn this one-time lucky windfall into a long-term, life-changing investment, she became a franchisee.

By Radim Dragomaca

What would you do if you won a $7 million lottery jackpot? Quit your job, buy a house, maybe a sports car or two and take a long vacation? You wouldn’t be the only one, but you wouldn’t necessarily be in good company either. A surprisingly high percentage of lottery winners actually end up blowing all their money and going bankrupt – according to some studies as many as 70 percent. The smart thing to do, of course, is to turn that one-time windfall into a sustainable, life-long investment, which is exactly what Belinda Poblete did.

Belinda Poblete lives in the small town of Sloatsburg, just north of New York City, and earlier this year, she hit the jackpot. After years of playing Mega Millions and Powerball, Belinda bought her first ever Cash4Life ticket, one of a number of state sponsored lotteries in New York State that together contribute over $3 billion annually to the state’s education system. Leaving the ticket with her father before heading to work, Belinda got the phone call of a lifetime that evening, finding out she won the $7 million jackpot. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” says Belinda, and after checking the numbers for herself online, she felt both overjoyed and numb.

In the weeks and months ahead, Belinda and her husband considered what to do with the money, and discovered the many darker sides of a big lottery win. For one thing, there were all the taxes that brought the winnings down to $4,632,600, and more taxes to come next April. There was also the awkwardness of friends asking for money, underscoring the pressure that lottery winners often face. Undeterred and determined to make sure that this blessing changed her family’s life for the better and for the long-term, Belinda decided to become a franchisee.

After some serious research, professional advice and of course tasting a lot of frozen yoghurt and smoothies, Belinda has invested in opening a new Red Mango Yogurt Café Smoothie and Juice Bar in the nearby town of Nanuet, N.Y. Belinda told us that she was drawn to the brand because of its healthy and tasty offerings and a stellar track record of growth. Her very own small business will be opening in the summer of 2017, and Belinda and her family members who will be joining her in running this Red Mango will become their own bosses – not because they won the lottery, but because they invested what they won into their own franchise business.


Click here to learn more about Red Mango.


Radim Dragomaca is Publishing and Government Relations Consultant for the International Franchise Association, and Associate Editor of Franchising World.