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10 oddball inventions that became big pop-culture hits

Unlikely Millionaires: Pillow Pets

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Quirky ideas that reaped millions

For the most part, becoming a multimillionaire takes a lot of hard work and is usually preceded by several failed business plans. But sometimes you get lucky.

It might be a quirky idea that strikes as you drift off to sleep or one that hits during a chat with friends, but if the stars align just right, that idea comes at just the right moment, latching on to the zeitgeist of the time and emerging into a phenomenon.

Oftentimes, the very same ideas that were big pop-culture hits quickly become objects of ridicule. But by then, the inventors have laughed their way to the bank, and though sales slow, they often don't die entirely.

Here are 10 people whose ideas may not have seemed destined to become multimillion-dollar products but beat the odds nonetheless.

By Chris Morris, special to CNBC.com
Posted 19 September 2015

Source: My Pillow Pets