Zachary Crockett
Editor, Senior Writer, The Hustle

Millennials aren’t buying lottery tickets

Among the 121m hopefuls who buy lotto tickets annually, one group is woefully underrepresented: the young’uns.

Zachary Crockett • December 17, 2019

The man who made the “worst” video game in history

  On April 25, 2014, a bulldozer ripped into a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and unearthed a trove of 30-year-old Atari video games. As a...
Zachary Crockett • December 14, 2019

Why some of America’s top CEOs take a $1 salary

  In the last few decades, a curious trend has emerged: A small but growing number of prominent CEOs have reduced their cash salary to...
Zachary Crockett • December 8, 2019

The man who cleans 8-story-tall, $250k IMAX screens

  Late at night, long after moviegoers have scattered from the last screening and cleaning crews have swept away popcorn remnants, Michael Quaranto begins his...
Zachary Crockett • December 1, 2019

The tragic data behind Black Friday deaths

  This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that 114.6m Americans — more than 50% of the country’s adult population — will participate in Black...
Zachary Crockett • November 23, 2019

The man who repossesses multimillion-dollar airplanes

  On a muggy summer day in 2011, Ken Hill walked onto a small landing strip in DeLand, Florida, and announced his intention to repossess...
Zachary Crockett • November 15, 2019

The father of the modern frozen food industry

  Today’s frozen food section is a vast and adventurous tundra. In the course of a grocery run, one might encounter frozen gourmet turkey sausage, frozen...
Zachary Crockett • November 1, 2019

What data on 40m rides tell us about how people tip Uber drivers

Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images To tip, or not to tip — that is the question. In a new NBER working paper, researchers analyzed more than 40m Uber trips during a 4-week span in 2017 and looked at how much riders tipped, and how these tips varied based on a multitude of […]

Zachary Crockett • October 24, 2019

How one man went from a life prison sentence to a $100k+ engineering job

  For 22 years, Zachary Moore sat in a 6×9 foot prison cell. Today, he sits in an open-plan office in San Francisco, surveying code. At...
Zachary Crockett • October 19, 2019

The local TV star who rigged the lottery

  Shortly after 7pm on April 24th, 1980, millions of Pennsylvanians watched intently as a third and final ping-pong ball shot up the tube of...
Zachary Crockett • October 12, 2019

The mannequin queen: How one woman built a business out of retailers’ trash

  On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Judi Townsend stands in the back room of a warehouse in Oakland, California, holding a decapitated mannequin head. “These go...
Zachary Crockett • October 5, 2019

The man who built his own Lamborghini

  Inside an 8k-foot converted airplane hangar in Micco, Florida, the Dr. Frankenstein of automobiles summons his newest creation to life. The space is littered with...
Zachary Crockett • September 29, 2019

Is the era of the $100+ graphing calculator coming to an end?

  Texas Instrument’s best-selling graphing calculator, the TI-84, is a woefully outdated piece of technology. Since its debut in 2004, its specs and components have remained...
Zachary Crockett • September 22, 2019

What went wrong at Uber

If Uber’s 2017 were a ride across town, it would get 1 star. You’d be hard-pressed to dredge up a worse 12-month stretch in recent...
Zachary Crockett • September 13, 2019

Why is movie theater popcorn so outrageously expensive?

In March of 2012, Justin Thompson, a 20-year-old security technician from Livonia, Michigan, decided to go to the movies. Inside, he encountered an atrocity we’re...
Zachary Crockett • September 8, 2019

The epic, decades-long battle between Ford and a small-time inventor

On a rainy day in 1962, Robert Kearns had one of those meandering thoughts that separate great inventors from mere mortals: What if a...
Zachary Crockett • September 2, 2019

Inside Shake Shack’s secret ‘Innovation Kitchen’

The Shake Shack at 225 Varick Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, looks like any other fast-casual eatery: Inside, customers chow down on crinkle-cut fries,...
Zachary Crockett • August 25, 2019

The worst sales promotion in history

In late 1992, the UK branch of the vacuum manufacturer, Hoover, offered an impossibly sweet promotion: If a customer bought any product worth £100,...
Zachary Crockett • August 10, 2019

SCOOP: FlyCleaners, the large NYC laundry service, is leaving customers out to dry

FlyCleaners, an on-demand laundry and dry cleaning service with tens of thousands of paying customers, has left a swath of New Yorkers wondering what happened to their clothes.

Zachary Crockett • August 8, 2019
Scott Ball image

Small business of the week: Scott Ball, red light ticket attorney

In 2008, Scott Ball graduated from USC law school with $190k in student debt and no clear career job prospects. Criminal defense was, in his...
Zachary Crockett • August 5, 2019

Small business of the week: Essence Luxe Couture

At the age of 21, Akosua Asare developed alopecia, a condition where the immune system attacks hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Eventually, the damage was so severe that she was forced to shave her head completely bald. It was then that she discovered the transformative aesthetic power of wigs. In 2017, the young entrepreneur […]

Zachary Crockett • July 29, 2019

The tiny video store that survived Netflix

“Where the hell have you been? I haven’t seen you in 6 months!” Ira Belfer rises from his throne (a well-worn dining chair from the...
Zachary Crockett • July 27, 2019

Why is airport food so expensive?

Earlier this week, while waiting to board an early morning flight from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, I found myself stranded in Terminal 2,...
Zachary Crockett • July 20, 2019

How much money can you make on Amazon Mechanical Turk?

In early 2013, Mike Naab found himself in dire need of a side gig. As a full-time senior business analyst, the Pennsylvanian made a decent...
Zachary Crockett • July 13, 2019

The women who win hundreds of sweepstakes per year

Click here to win a free trip to Iceland! … Enter to win a 2019 Ford F-150! … Share a photo on Twitter and...
Zachary Crockett • July 7, 2019

How Costco gained a cult following — by breaking every rule of retail

On first impression, Costco makes no sense. It is a place where you can buy, in the course of one trip, a 27-pound bucket of...
Zachary Crockett • June 30, 2019

1 in 4 investment portfolios in the world contains Microsoft stock

For many investors, tech stocks are a staple of a well-balanced investment portfolio. But just how prevalent are some of the more established players? The investment research platform eVestment recently analyzed long-only portfolio holdings from 6,053 active equity strategies in Q1 of 2019 and compiled a list of the most commonly owned stocks in the […]

Zachary Crockett • June 27, 2019

The 70-year-old retiree who became America’s worst counterfeiter

In 1938, a New York cigar shop owner went to the bank to cash his daily profits. As the teller sifted through the haul, she...
Zachary Crockett • June 23, 2019

The restaurant owner who asked for 1-star Yelp reviews

In 2014, chef Davide Cerretini advertised a special that would forever change his fate: Anyone who left his restaurant a 1-star review on Yelp...
Zachary Crockett • June 9, 2019

A new startup exchange got approval to challenge the stock exchange oligopoly

Earlier this month, a company called LTSE — Long-Term Stock Exchange — got SEC approval to be the country’s 14th national equity exchange. But the new exchange, designed to encourage long-term investment and help startups go public, faces an uphill battle against mega-exchanges. The rise of XL-sized exchanges In the 1900s, most major US cities […]

Zachary Crockett • May 22, 2019

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