By Chris King • 14 November 2021 • 5:04
Rachel Lowe appeared on the very first series of Dragons’ Den in 2004 hoping to get their backing for a unique board game she had invented. She was rejected by all the then Dragons after asking them for £75,000. Rachel has since earned an incredible £96 million from the game the Dragons turned down. It has even outsold Monopoly.
Needing an injection of cash to help get her board game into the high street shops in time for Christmas, the entrepreneur saw the TV show as her final hope. Rachel was studying for a law degree and working as a cabbie in Portsmouth to help pay for it. As a result, ‘Destination‘ was a board game she had devised, where players must navigate their taxis through the streets of a city, while collecting the most fares.
Totally unprepared for the hard time the Dragon’s would give her, Rachel faced a humiliating experience. They even berated her, hinting she could never survive in such a competitive business. To her good fortune, Hamley’s, the toy retailers stepped in and offered Rachel a deal. In its first year alone, the London version of the board game outsold its rival, Monopoly.
Duncan Bannatyne had scoffed at Rachel’s suggested plan of going to Hamley’s, telling her that a lack of press at the launch would mean her game would not succeed. Similarly, fellow Dragon, Rachel Elnaugh, claimed that the board game market was too competitive.
The only one to show any interest was Doug Richard. Unfortunately, his line of questioning about expected profits confused Rachel, as she mixed up her figures. A very harsh Doug informed her, “We can’t even have a basic business discussion. It doesn’t seem like you’ve prepared very well. You remind me of a lamb to the slaughter in some ways”.
Unfazed by Doug’s words, the future multi-millionaire replied that when she was a success then she would be able to afford somebody to sort the figures for her. An MBE for services to business has also come her way since that day, and there must surely be some red-faced Dragons when they think back on that moment, as reported by thesun.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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