Aneela Locks It Up

Aneela Rajusth and her Lock 'n Bake pan.
Aneela Rajusth with her invention (Daily Herald).

Oprah is searching for The Next Big Idea—and guess what? Aneela Rajusth of Schaumburg, Illinois, is the one who wowed the daytime queen and her judges on today’s show.

In 2004, Rajusth was tired of slaving in the kitchen to make a lasagna or cake, only to have problems prying it out of the pan when it was done. So she invented the “Lock ‘n Bake” baking pan, which has sides that fold down for easy removal—and cooks everywhere have taken notice.

As the winner of the contest, Rajusth, 30, will get to sell her product live on the home shopping network QVC later this year. Her invention was one of 7,000 entries to Oprah’s contest. She may have had an unfair advantage, however: TIME selected her product as one of the coolest inventions of 2004, and Hammacher Schlemmer awarded it first place in its 2004 Search for Invention competition.

May 3, 2007
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