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Winning $10,000 on a game show is a good cure for cold feet about buying a franchise.

This story appears in the January 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As a contestant on the game show Press Your Luck, Steve Chaput won a trip to London, a trip to Rome and $10,000. He gave the London trip to his mother and took his future wife to the Italian capital. And the money? He didn't spend it on cars or jewels. Instead, Chaput, 41, saved it to invest in something he'd had his eye on for quite some time: his own business.

When he went on the game show in 1985, Chaput was the West Coast sales rep for an athletic footwear company. He'd been thinking about buying a franchise for a while-he'd even visited some franchising expos to see what was out there-but he had a good job and decided to stick with it.

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