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July 16, 2010

Million Dollar Idea

Back in the 1980s Michael Larson made the most money ever on the game show Press Your Luck. And it was no accident—Larson had a plan to get rich that surprised everyone: The home viewers, the show's producers and mostly Larson himself. This and other stories of million dollar ideas, including some from our listeners.

Larson on Press Your Luck, where he won a record $110,237 in 1984.

Prologue

Hanco's and Henry's are two restaurants in Brooklyn that sell Vietnamese sandwiches and bubble tea. Their menus are identical, down to the order of the items, the layout, the fonts. Ira Glass investigates, and finds out about Henry's million dollar idea. (8 1/2 minutes)

Going Up?

In the world of engineers and investors, there's something called the "elevator pitch." It's what you'd say if you ran into a rich investor in an elevator, and had only 60 seconds to sell your product. The concept is so common that MIT actually hosts a contest for the best elevator pitch. Ira speaks with the contest's judge, Tim Rowe of the Cambridge Innovation Center. (11 minutes)

Song:

“Sexy Pitch” by MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition
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