Identifying Your Target Audience

Lacey Welborn

Lacey Welborn

Lacey and her brother Zeb Welborn founded Welborn Media. She has designed and launched websites, several projects, marketing materials, a podcast, a book and more. Her passions include her family, her friends, creating things and helping businesses grow.
Lacey Welborn

Integral to any marketing plan is a clearly defined target audience. The target audience helps you determine your approach, your messaging, and your distribution. Read this article then download the free worksheet at the bottom of this post to help define your target audience.

A common mistake is targeting too broad a selection of people. We understand the desire to want everyone to know about your business, but it can get you into trouble.

Poor Marksmanship

When you have a broad message you are just another fish in the overcrowded sea of marketing messages. Your marketing needs to attract attention which is a difficult thing to do when every other business is aiming to do the same thing. So don’t dilute your marketing message. By narrowing your target market you can zero in on what would appeal specifically to those people and that will help you get noticed.

In addition to standing out, your message also has to resonate with viewers to have any hope of compelling the desired action and it’s much easier to determine what will resonate when you have a specific group of people.

The other problem is money. Your advertising dollars are precious. When utilized to their full potential you can maximize your return and experience terrific success. When you try to reach too many people much of your budget will go to waste on those who are least likely to convert.

Think about it as if you are selling your products or services in person and groups of people are walking by. You don’t have the option to approach everyone. So, you prioritize and try to engage the people who appear most similar to your current customers. You realize that if you put your efforts towards engaging those who appear less likely to use your products/services you will miss out on sales.

Buyer Personas

Many businesses need to develop a multi-faceted target audience. Maybe your business has different products and services to meet different people’s needs. This is a situation where creating buyer personas can be helpful.

We work with Scott Goodwin Associates (SGA), a company that provides training for firefighters. They have a handful products that meet different needs: entry level firefighter bootcamp for those who are interested in becoming a firefighter, promotional bootcamp for current firefighters who want a promotion, and training for individuals or entire departments to improve fire command and communication. Each of these products has a different buyer persona: the entry-level bootcamp skews to a younger audience, the promotional bootcamp we can narrow down by job title, and the training program targets everyone currently in the fire service.

The overall target audience includes everyone in the fire service and people who are looking to join the fire service. We can execute marketing pieces and aim to reach all of those people. We can also use the buyer personas to create specific marketing pieces that showcase an individual product and distribute it to only that segment of the target audience. We like to do some of both.

Hitting a Bullseye

Try to think of a specific person and cater your message to them. What are their needs, wants, fears and desires? What message will appeal directly to them? Determining that is the hard part. Once you know who this person is other decisions become easy.

How will you reach them?

You can target an audience based on several factors including location, gender, age, income level, job title, interests, search history, website visits, connections, current customer status, social media engagement, and more. Ask yourself where do these people spend their time? Do they search on Google, scroll through Facebook, or examine their junk mail? How do they make their purchasing decisions?

Traditional Marketing Methods often let you target based on location, gender, age and income level. Sometimes they also can be used to target a general interest. Digital marketing can give you more ways to refine your audience — things like job title, keyword searches, web history, specific interests, online behavior, and engagement level.

Define Your Target Audience

Now you have a good understanding of why defining your target audience is important and how it can help you determine your approach, messaging, and distribution. Download our Target Audience/Buyer Persona Worksheet to help you zero in on your target:

 

Get the Free Worksheet

Enter your information and the download link for our Target Audience/Buyer Persona Worksheet will appear here.

Use the information to boost your online marketing plan. Enjoy!

 

Examine your customer base and think of one specific person who can act as an avatar to represent your typical customer or client. If you need to, create separate buyer personas that represent your different products or services.

Now that you understand your target audience, you’ve completed one of the most important parts of your marketing plan. Use the target audience to help you make decisions regarding the rest of your marketing plan including messaging, content strategy, distribution, budget and more.

Need help developing an online marketing plan for your business? Check out our limited offer: Zeb Welborn’s One-on-One 1-Day Marketing Plan

 

 

Zeb Welborn Reviews Top 10 Books Read in 2017

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Someone once asked Elon Musk how he learned to build rockets. He answered, “I read books.”

As an entrepreneur I try to learn as much as possible. Many of you have asked about books I’d recommend reading and so I thought I’d give you a list of all the Top 10 non-fiction books I read in 2017.

They’re ranked in the order in which I found them to be most valuable to where I am currently at in my life and business.

Below, I’m including a link to the books in Amazon and a brief description from their Amazon page.

They were all valuable and had great insights, so don’t read too much into my rankings…

As J.K. Rowling once said, “Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.”

The Like Switch: An ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting and Winning People Over by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins

From a former FBI Special Agent specializing in behavior analysis and recruiting spies comes a handbook filled with his proven strategies on how to instantly read people and influence how they perceive you, so you can easily turn on the like switch.

Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin

Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership―at every level―is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

Smarter, Faster, Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg

At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.

The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

While most people operate with only three degrees of action-no action, retreat, or normal action-if you’re after big goals, you don’t want to settle for the ordinary. To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also know as the 10 X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals realize their goals and dreams.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson

Since taking over TED in 2001, Chris Anderson has shown how carefully crafted talks can be the key to unlocking empathy, spreading knowledge, and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a talk can electrify a room and transform an audience’s worldview; it can be more powerful than anything in written form.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd by Allan Dib

To build a successful business, you need to stop doing random acts of marketing and start following a reliable plan for rapid business growth. Traditionally, creating a marketing plan has been a difficult and time-consuming process, which is why it often doesn’t get done.

The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears.  What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?

 

LinkedIn, Social Media Q&A and Live Videos with Zeb Welborn

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

LinkedIn, Social Media Q&A and Live Videos with Zeb Welborn

Learn how to use LinkedIn, get your questions answered about social media and learn how to use live videos to grow your business with Zeb Welborn and the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board.

LinkedIn, Social Media Q&A and Live Videos with Zeb Welborn

LinkedIn Fundamentals Workshop

Date: August 31, 2017

Location: City of San Bernardino- 2nd Floor – 201 N. “E” St., San Bernardino, CA 92401

Learn how to use LinkedIn to network more effectively and grow your business. This workshop will teach you how to use LinkedIn to maximize your business reach, make new contacts and keep your current contacts in the loop. Learn to Create/Update your profile, engage in LinkedIn Groups, publish posts, discover new prospects, write/receive recommendations and more.

Register here – LinkedIn Fundamentals Workshop

Q&A Social Media Workshop

Date: September 28th, 2017

Location: High Desert Americas Job Center – 17310 Bear Valley Rd., Suite 109, Victorville, CA 92395

Get your questions answered when it comes to social media. Bring your laptop and ask all your social media related questions. Learn the most effective strategies in growing your business using social media sites like Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc.

Register here – Q&A Social Media Workshop

Hands-On Workshop with Live Videos

Date: November 30th, 2017

Location: Ontario Chamber of Commerce – 3200 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite 130, Ontario, Ca 92395

Learn to market your business using live videos. Live videos are the hottest, newest thing in social media to grow your business. Learn a formula to help you sell more products using live videos. During this workshop we will help you create a script for your own live video which you can use to sell your products and services.

Register here – Hands-On Workshop with Live Videos

Welborn Media’s Five Passions – Follow Our YouTube Channel

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Welborn Media is making an effort to produce a lot more videos to educate, entertain and inform our followers.

Our first video, Welcome to Zeb Welborn’s YouTube Channel, shares our five passions and what you can expect to see from the videos we create in the future will be.

Zeb Welborn's YouTube Channel

Our plan is to create videos that:

  • Help support passionate business owners become successful
  • Grow golf
  • Show good people doing good things in our community
  • Educate and inspire others to make their dreams a reality

Our most recent videos are:

Whether you’re a business owner, potential business owner, community member, family, friend, or golfer, we hope you’ll follow along our YouTube Channel to get regular tips, ideas and discussions around those topics.

Will you subscribe to our YouTube Channel? – Subscribe Here.

Social Media and Online Marketing Workshops in 2017 by Welborn Media

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Zeb Welborn and Welborn Media are looking forward to another great year speaking on social media, digital marketing and online marketing workshops in 2017.

Want to learn how to write blogs, create successful email marketing campaigns, use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media channels to grow your business? Want to learn a comprehensive strategy to get your business on Google? Want to learn how to manage your reputation online so your customers will choose you over your competitors?

Email Marketing to Get the Sale

Sign up for our workshops in 2017 and take your business to the next level.

San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board:

Workshops are free to attendees. 

Email Marketing to Get the Sale on March 30 at High Desert Americas Job Center – 17310 Bear Valley Rd., Suite 109, Victorville, CA 92395.

Register for Social Media Workshops

 

Create a Winning Internet Marketing Game Plan for Your Business on April 13 at the City of San Bernardino Economic Dvlp. Agency- Board Room, 3rd Floor – 201 N. “E” St., San Bernardino, CA 92401

Register for Social Media Workshops

Get Immediate Business Results with Google Pay-Per-Click Campaigns on May 25 at Ontario Chamber of Commerce – 3200 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite 130 , Ontario, CA 91764

Register for Social Media Workshops

The Right Way to Market Your Business on Facebook on June 22 at the High Desert Americas Job Center – 17310 Bear Valley Rd., Suite 109, Victorville, CA 92395

Register for Social Media Workshops

 

Inland Empire Small Business Development Center:

Workshops are free to attend: Sign up here

Internet Marketing Strategies on May 17 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at the Carnegie Cultural Center, 123 D Street, Upland 91786

Internet Marketing Strategies on June 1 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at the Temecula Valley Entrepreneurs Exchange, 43200 Business Park Drive, Temecula 92590

Internet Marketing Strategies on July 18 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at the Riverside County Business Center, 3403 10th Street (first floor), Riverside 92501

Internet Marketing Strategies on August 9 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, 3200 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite 130 , Ontario, CA 91764

Completed 2017 Workshops:

Best Strategies for Business Blogging Success on February 16 at Ontario Chamber of Commerce – 3200 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite 130 , Ontario, CA 91764

Welborn Media’s Top 10 Moments of 2016

Lacey Welborn

Lacey Welborn

Lacey and her brother Zeb Welborn founded Welborn Media. She has designed and launched websites, several projects, marketing materials, a podcast, a book and more. Her passions include her family, her friends, creating things and helping businesses grow.
Lacey Welborn

At our end of year meeting each year we go over a lot of material, make a lot of plans, and do a lot of business stuff. But, we also make a point to look back over the previous year and celebrate our victories.

We have come a long way since we started in 2010. Here is our Top 10 of 2016.

Top 10 of 2016

10. Share Your Passion Scholarships

Since starting the Share Your Passion Scholarships in 2012, we’ve awarded scholarships to several deserving students.We have kept in contact with many scholarship winners and are still inspired by them. They continue to work towards following their passions and helping better the lives of others.This year we awarded Share Your Passion Scholarships and gave out a 2016 Student of the Year Scholarship Award to one of the hardest working students at The Tutoring Solution.Mena Mekhaeel was our 2016 Student of the Year Scholarship Winner
9. Speaking Gigs

Zeb held a number of speaking/education sessions this year. Some were hosted by San Bernardino County Workforce Development, Inland Empire Small Business Development Center, Loma Linda Chamber of Commerce, and Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce.The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board and the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center have asked Zeb to come back for a series of workshops in 2017.
8. Moderated Chino Valley City Council Debates

Zeb Welborn moderated the Chino and Chino Hills’ Community Forums. It was a memorable experience in a year where politics were at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
7. New Clients

This year we met many people who are passionate about that they do and we were able to work with many of them on their internet presence.Our new clients this year include Eye Eco, CORE Real Estate, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board, Fairway Mortgage, Tony’s Truck Shades, Intensity Security US and OoMaLoo Dog Toys.We also got the chance to work with Monte Vista Farms, ABC Public Relations, Delicate Smiles, TXD International, Inland Caregiver Resource Center, DLT Growers and Elite Dental Associates through an awesome program with a business boosting organization, DI Solutions, in the Inland Empire.
6. Business Growth

In our 5th year of business, we have consistently grown our business by 50% year over year. It’s something we are extremely proud of and have no signs of slowing down. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to create in just five years.
5. Volunteer Opportunities

This year Zeb was able to participate in some awesome and memorable volunteer opportunities with the Chino Rotary Club. In October, Zeb met with fellow Rotarians to build a home in Tecate, Mexico. In December Zeb helped build the Rotary float for the Rose Bowl Parade with friends and fellow Rotarians.Zeb also hosted the Southern California Charity Golf Classic again in 2017 raising more than $12,000 for local charities.
4. Business Workshop with the San Bernardino County Workshop Development Board

Earlier this year we received a government contract to work with the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board to design, implement and promote local online marketing workshops.These workshops are held throughout San Bernardino County to support business growth. We’ve already worked with over 100 different business owners through the San Bernardino Country Workforce Development Board and are excited that they’ve renewed our agreement for 2017.Our workshops in the first part of this year will be:

  • Best Strategies for Blogging Success
  • Email Marketing to Get the Sale
  • Create a Winning Internet Marketing Game Plan for Your Business
  • Get Immediate Business Results with Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
  • The Right Way to Market Your Business on Facebook

If you’d like to attend any of these workshops, reply to this email so I can make sure to let you know when they’re officially scheduled. These workshops fill up early.

3. Chairman of the Board – Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce

Zeb Welborn finished his term as Chairman of the Board of the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce and passed the torch to fellow chamber member and friend Belinda Douglas. As chairman of the board Zeb’s mission was to be of service to the Chino Valley Business Community.He identified five things he wanted to accomplish during his term. Find out if he did them and read his Outgoing Chairman’s Message – Outgoing Chairman’s Message: Thank You!
2. Testimonials

We love hearing great things about the work we’re doing for our clients. This year we received several glowing testimonials about the work we do.We consider ourselves very fortunate to work with so many wonderful people and it’s an unbelievable feeling to know they feel the same way.
1. Rotary President-Elect

Zeb is the current President-Elect for the Chino Rotary Club and will take over on July 1, 2017.The Chino Rotary Club has been around for more than 90 years servicing the Chino Valley community.Zeb plans to continue that mission and has devoted the 2017 year to helping the Chino Valley Community.The Chino Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at noon at the Chino Community Building for lunch and to work to do good things for our community and world. If you’re interested in joining the Rotary or learning more let us know!

We are so fortunate to be able to do work that we love with people who are passionate and interesting. We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and will have a happy new year. We are so looking forward to 2017.

At the end of another amazing year we want to say Thank You!

We will be sending out monthly emails and videos with tips and tactics on how to market your business better in 2017.

Our first emails will be the Best Strategies for Blogging Success and the Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Marketing.

Sign up for our email list in 2017 to keep tabs on the growth of our business and learn new ways you can help to grow yours.

Sign Up to Receive Welborn Media’s Emails

Zeb Welborn’s Upcoming Speaking Engagements in 2016 – Social Media for Businesses

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.
Welborn Media and Zeb Welborn will be speaking multiple times before the end of the year on how to use social media to grow your business. Our sessions are hosted by the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board or the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center.

All of our social media courses from now until the end of the year are free to attend.

Zeb is presenting on a variety of topics from social media basics,  utilizing LinkedIn and marketing technology to grow your business.

Check out the workshops and find one(s) that works for you. Please let us know which ones you plan to attend.

If you’d like to learn more about online marketing but the following courses are not appealing to you, let us know what courses you’d like to see in 2017 by filling out this 2-Question Survey.

 

Zeb Welborn Speaker at San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board and the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center

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October 13th • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Effective Use of Social Media: A Hands On Approach

Ontario Chamber of Commerce
3200 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite 130, Ontario, CA 91764
Zeb Welborn, shares his knowledge of using google analytics to monitor and improve your website and online marketing efforts.

Hosted by San Bernardino County Workforce Development
Please register at: https://socialmediaworkshops2016.eventbrite.com

October 19th • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Internet Marketing Strategies

Ontario Chamber of Commerce
3200 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite #130, Ontario 91764
Zeb Welborn, shares his knowledge on Internet Marketing Strategies

Hosted by Inland Empire Small Business Development

November 1st • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Marketing Technology to Attract Customers

City of San Bernardino EDA Board Room
201 North “E” Street, San Bernardino 92401
Topics Zeb will cover: Social Media Marketing; Blogging; SEO

Hosted by Inland Empire Small Business Development

November 10th • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

How to Use Your Personal Network to Grow Your Business on LinkedIn

Ontario Chamber of Commerce
3200 Inland Empire Blvd., Suite 130, Ontario, CA 91764
Facebook is for everyone. Twitter is for connecting with experts or people trying to become experts, and LinkedIn is for your business contacts. Learn how to use your LinkedIn personal profile to connect with others in your industry, build a better business, and target customers using features on LinkedIn. Learn how to use LinkedIn as your digital rolodex; how and why you should update your profile regularly; Use LinkedIn groups to reach more customers and build influence in your industry; and target connections in your industry/potential customers using the LinkedIn search tool.

Hosted by San Bernardino County Workforce Development
Please register at: https://socialmediaworkshops2016.eventbrite.com

November 16th • 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Marketing Technology to Attract Customers

Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce
16010 Apple Valley Road, Apple Valley 92307
Topics Zeb will cover: Social Media Marketing; Email Marketing; Blogging; SEO

Hosted by Inland Empire Small Business Development

November 17th • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Marketing Technology to Attract Customers

Temecula Valley Entrepreneur’s Exchange
43200 Business Park Drive, Temecula 92590
Topics Zeb Will Cover: Social Media Marketing; Email Marketing; Blogging; SEO

Hosted by Inland Empire Small Business Development

I’m looking forward to sharing what I know with local business owners. Reply to this email to let me know which session(s) you plan on attending.

See you soon!

Zeb Welborn

How I Almost Became the Chino Hills Powerball Lottery Winner

Zeb Welborn

The owner of Welborn Social Media and the founder of The Tutoring Solution.My goal is to help business owners share the passion they have for their business with as many potential customers as possible.By helping passionate people achieve their dreams I am helping to create a society of passionate leaders that will help inspire others to make their dreams a reality.

Chino Hills Powerball Winner?Chino Hills Powerball Lottery Winner?

Growing up in Chino Hills since 1981, I’ve seen the city grow from a cow pasteur to a robust suburban town. I’ve personally witnessed a tremendous amount of growth in both Chino and Chino Hills in my lifetime. As the Chairman of the Board for the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce I can see that that success and prosperity will continue.

One of the coolest things that happened as a result of the Powerball win is how it showcased the way our city came together to support something that put our city in the spotlight for at least a few days.

As a child, I’d try to convince my parents to let me ride my bike to the 7-Eleven so I could get some snacks or a Slurpee. I grew up within a bike rides distance of the place that sold a winning ticket to the largest-ever lottery prize.  And that’s pretty cool.

The first time I played the lottery was last Saturday, where I bought one ticket for what was then the largest lottery purse in history at $900 million.  On Wednesday, I bought my second for the $1.5 billion jackpot.

In addition, the President of our Sunday Bowling League, Doug, organized a lottery pool and purchased tickets on behalf of our bowling league.

I didn’t watch the lottery live, but I got messages from family and friends not long after telling me to check my tickets. They had heard the news that a winner was sold in Chino Hills.

Instead of a 1 in 275,000,000 chance my odds improved drastically to 1 in Chino Hills.

I carefully checked my ticket.  I didn’t match a single number. Unfortunately, I bought it at the Circle K gas station across the street from that 7-Eleven.

Then I remembered I still had a chance with Doug.

My family (who also bought into the bowling pool) and I, waited by the phone hoping Doug would call to tell us the good news, or the more likely scenario, the bad news.  But, we didn’t hear from Doug, and so wild speculation began.

As time wore on, it became more and more likely in our minds that we would be declared the winners for various reasons:

  1. The winning 7-Eleven is on the way from the bowling alley to Doug’s house
  2. The winning 7-Eleven is the closest place to Doug’s home to buy lottery tickets
  3. We hadn’t heard from Doug
    1. If Doug did have the winning ticket, we’d assume he’d make sure to consult legal counsel on how to proceed with distributing the winnings to our bowling league
  4. Doug nor any of his family had posted anything on social media.
    1. Everyone in Chino Hills got texts from family and relatives outside of Chino Hills asking if we’d won, so many of us took to social media to let people know we were losers.
    2. What would you do if you won the lottery?  Probably disappear from social media.
  5. As more and more of our Chino Hills family and friends came to social media to let others know they were losers, the odds went from 1 in Chino Hills to what felt more like 1 in 10 that we were the $1.5 billion lottery winners.

On Sunday, we headed to bowling as we do every Sunday night, only this time we were on the lookout for big news vans and television crews, there to catch our excitement as Doug announced that we were indeed the Powerball winners.

As we entered the bowling alley, Doug, a plumber, was outside making a phone call where he was talking about water heaters and other things a plumber would discuss, clearly a ruse.

Finally, Doug ended his phone call and came inside just before bowling began. I asked him one simple question:

“So Doug, are we millionaires?”

He reached into his pocket and threw down lottery tickets paper-clipped together and said, “You have no idea how hard this week has been. We didn’t win.”

As it turns out, Doug did buy our tickets at the 7-Eleven in Chino Hills as we had suspected, but not the winning ticket. As of now, we didn’t win the Powerball . . . Honestly, we’re still hoping Doug is holding out on us waiting for a more opportune time to tell us that we’re all millionaires.

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