Dumb Inventions That Earned Millions of Dollars

Millions has been made in many unlikely ways, what others would deem as dumb, some view as worthwhile. In spite of all odds, the following products actually became million-dollar inventions for those who created them.

After a thorough research about dumb inventions that actually earned millions of dollars bixyell.com compiled a list of these inventions that have been talked about many times. 

The following are the most mentioned billy bob teeth, tamagochi, yellow smiley, slinky ,big mouth billy bass, wish bone, pet rock, snuggies, wacky walk walker, benny babies, kosh balls, magic 8 ball, head on and the million dollar homepage.

Billy Bob Teeth- is a set of artificial teeth that make you look like some inbred hillbilly

They came out as a result of a partnership between a dental student and an ex-college football player, both in need of money.

Rich Bailey, originally from Edwardsville and Jonah White, invented a bucktoothed gag mouthpiece they named “Billy Bob Teeth.” Bailey, who lives in Idaho, sold his share of the company in approximately 1997, but the two remain close friends.



It’s an egg shaped chirping thing which behaves like a real pet.

This toy pet with virtual intelligence sold 70 million pieces. You are just required to use specific buttons to feed, clean and clean up its waste. As long as you’ll take care of your pet, it will grow. 

The 90s was made more exciting by the Tamagotchi. After all, this creation by the Japanese toy-maker Bandai was a great alternative to owning and looking after a real pet. Over 70 million Tamagotchis were sold — at its peak, one Tamagotchi was being sold every second.

A yellow circle encasing two ovals with their short ends vertical and an arc below with two smaller arcs on its ends, intended to resemble a smile.

Yellow Smiley Faces

It’s just two black oval eyes and a full smile printed on a yellow circle. 

Harvey Ball created the design in ten minutes and was paid $45. Two brothers, Bernard and Murray Spain, stumbled upon the unrealized potential of the smiley and tagged it with the now infamous tag-line,”Have a nice day.”

Yellow smiley faces had a $50 million dollar net worth in the first year and a half and now have an estimated profit of $500M.



It’s a toy that can travel down a flight of steps end-over-end as it stretches and re-forms itself.

This toy was discovered in 1943 by a naval engineer Richard James who unintentionally knocked over a spring while at work and watched as it “walked” its way down to the floor. When the Slinky made its debut, James sold 400 of the bouncy toys in 90 minutes.

the original big mouth billy bass

Big Mouth Billy Bass

‘The Singing Fish’ as they call it, is basically a fish on a board that sings and apparently bends.

This device was originally created by a Texas novelty toy company Gemmy Industries on December 16, 1998,  was sold beginning January 1, 1999; and popular in the early 2000s

 This extremely annoying thing became a huge sensation as kids just adored it.

wishbone of chicken

Wish bone

This dumb invention helps vegetarians participate in a great Thanksgiving tradition. Plastic Wishbones are exactly what they sound like, a plastic imitation of the turkey wishbone. 

Ken Ahroni invented this simple product to help more people experience this tradition. Ahroni came up with this idea in 1999 and brought it to market with his company LuckyBreak in 2004. 

A Plastic Wishbone sells for $3.99 and has made Ahroni millions of dollars along the way. It recorded sales of more than $2 million annually.

pet rocks

Pet Rock

A Pet Rock is just a decorated rock with googly eyes which is sold as a pet.

Pet Rock is arguably the weirdest invention of all time to make millions of dollars. This product debuted in 1975 and in the first six months five million rocks were sold at $3.95 a piece.

a snuggie model


A Snuggie is a blanket with sleeves that keeps your hands free to move. 

Despite the fact that you can make your own sleeved blanket by wearing a bathrobe backwards, snuggie has generated more than $500 million for Allstar Marketing Group and its founder Scott Boilen. While this may have seemed like a dumb idea when first conceived, it has sold millions, including more than $40 million in the first three months.

wacky wallwalker as a cereal box prize

Wacky Wall Walker

It’s a toy shaped like an octopus, which when thrown against a wall “walks” its way down. 

Creator Ken Hakuta’s mother sent him several sticky octopus-like toys from Japan which were called ‘Tako’ then. They were meant for his children, but Hakuta found himself fascinated with the toy and began to market them himself.

The product’s sales were not originally great until a Washington Post’s reporter saw the item and wrote an article about it. The article generated buzz about the product and helped it become one of the best marketing fads of all time. In just a matter of months, over 240 million were sold, and Hakuta earned around $80 million.

4 Beanie Babies lined up next to one another

Beanie Babies

Beanie Babies are flexible toys which are stuffed with beans.

These were laughed at earlier but its maker made more than $4.5 billion from it. These toys were never sold in major stores and were not even advertised much, which made them really hard to get and hence highly desirable.

A tri-color Koosh ball, a toy made of rubber strands that was first introduced in 1989

Koosh Ball

It’s a toy ball made of rubber strings attached to a soft rubber core. 

Looking for a ball that his kids could more easily catch, inventor Scott Stillinger tied a few rubber bands together into a sphere of strands surrounding a soft rubber core. A mere two years after its conception, the multicolored dandelion joined the ranks of Christmas 1988’s most fascinating toys.

OddzOn Products Inc. distributed the simple, small toy and  the company expanded and Stillinger sold OddzOn in 1994 to Russ Berrie and Company Incorporated, which is a toy manufacturer that was bought by Hasbro, the toy behemoth, in 1997 for $100M.

magic 8 ball

Magic 8 Ball

It’s a black ball that can apparently tell your fortune.

Magic 8 Ball is a black sphere surrounding an alcohol – and dye – filled tube, containing a 20 sided dye printed with various answers. Who would have thought that this toy which gives you different answers every time you ask a question would go on to become this popular fortune teller?


Sirivision distributed HeadOn. Once directly applied to the forehead, it relieves headaches. Like many things in the online world, HeadOn became famous thanks to the unbearably annoying commercial, which went viral. While HeadOn is made entirely of wax and isn’t backed by scientific research, over six million tubes were sold for eight dollars each.

HeadOn ads seem amateurish and mindnumbing, but the company’s marketing chief said consumers remember them

the million dollar homepage logo

The Million Dollar Homepage

This rare example includes some modern technology. Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student, invented the Million Dollar Homepage.

 In 2005, Tew had an original, creative idea. Tew wanted to create a webpage with one million pixels. Each pixel would be able to support one link to another website. 

Businesses would pay Tew $1 to advertise on one pixel on the page. You can still visit this website today (though many of the links are no longer working).The Million Dollar Homepage is an idea that may have seemed dumb at the time, but it created a very happy millionaire in student Alex Tew.

Remember that in some cases the goofiest and most useless ideas have been turned into inventions that have made millions, and sometimes billions of dollars for their creators. Future inventors can be a millionaire with just one crazy idea.