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The Top 5 Weirdest Ideas That Made Millions!

Posted by: on Mar 12, 2015 | No Comments

Do you have a crazy or ingenious idea inside your head waiting for the world to see it? One great idea could score you a few million bucks. The right idea and the right opportunity could give you a way one trip to early retirement! Today let’s take a look at some of the weirdest ideas that made a few people millionaires! Drum roll….

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5. Million Dollar Home Page-I can vividly remember when I first heard of this ingenious idea. A 21-year of college student named Alex Tew created a banner home page and sold 1MM pixels each for a freaking $1! The million-dollar home page was launched on 26 August 2005; the website became a viral success! His goal was to raise enough money to fund his college education. The public ate the story up and the rest is history. The Million Dollar Home Page went on to earn Alex a total $1,037,100 in five months. Talk about a stroke of genius!

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Photo Credit: Alex Tew The Million Dollar Home Page

4. The Plastic Wishbone-On November 25, 1999 Ken Ahroni was celebrating his 47th birthday on Thanksgiving. After the meal the traditional race begun to be the first person to grab the wishbone from the leftover turkey.It was then that Ken Ahroni realized, at that moment, while sitting at that Thanksgiving table with his friends and family.  In that moment the Lucky Wishbone Corp. was created. I must admit this was truly a clever idea. I remember when my sister and I would fight over the wishbone from the turkey at Thanksgiving. Ken even invented the Lucky Break Wishbones for the masses so everybody, including vegetarians, have a chance to make a wish!

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The Plastic Wishbone

3. Wacky Wall Crawler- Here is another weird toy from my childhood. The Wacky Wall Crawler was introduced by Ken Hakuta with assist from his mother who sent him the first Wacky Wall Crawler as gift from China. What made this Wacky Wall Crawler toy so clever was that it appeared to walk down walls. My Wacky Wall Crawler walked down walls until it got dirt on the legs. Nevertheless, Ken realized quickly he had a hit on his hands and instantly bought the rights for $100,000 and started marketing the toy in the D.C. area. In the beginning sales were slow until a Washington Post reporter came across the wacky toy and wrote about it in the paper. The viral buzz from the article kicked off one of the most amazing marketing fads as sales exploded with 240 million sold bringing  Ken a cool $80 million on a $100,000 investment! Awesome!

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2. Pet Rock-In April 1975, Gary Dahl a former advertising executive was in a bar listening to his friends whine about their pets. At that moment he had a “Eureka Moment”. Gary idea was to sell “hassle free” pet rocks. You heard me right…a Pet Rock! The Pet Rock was sold in a box with a bed of hay and daily care instruction manual for $3.95. I know, this sound crazy, but Gary made millions, and he sold 1.5 million Pet Rocks, with high margins he took in $15 million and became a millionaire in the process because of  a rock?!I’m in the wrong business!

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1. Smiley Faces-Can you imagine getting paid $45 for drawing a happy face and realize one day that same idea took in over $500 million…talking about having a bad day. Well this is the story of  Harvey Ball who invented the “Happy Smiley Face”. Back in 1963 Harvey drew the happy face for his PR company client State Mutual Life Insurance. For his effort, Harvey was paid $45 for the design. Two brothers Bernard and Murray Spain, came across the smiley design in hopes of launching a novelty store, Bernard and Murray bought the legal rights to the smiley trademark along with the infamous tag-line, “Have a nice day.” The brothers soon started putting the “Happy Smiley Face” image on everything possible. The yellow smiley became a hit in the US and soon, the world. The fad peaked in 1971 and diminished after a year and a half, but that was enough time to do 50 million in sales. Eventually, the brothers opened the first Dollar Express store in the 1980’s where they continued to sell the smiley. In 2000 the brothers really cashed in big with the smiley face when they sold their stores to Dollar Tree for $500 million.Talk about luck, opportunity and timing!

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Photo Credit: A smiley by Pumbaa (Wikipedia)

What did you think? Did we leave something off the list? Share your thoughts in the comments! Have a great day!

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