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Gwinnett board game inventor featured on PBS show

Editor's Note: Success Lives Here is a new feature highlighting Gwinnett residents - and those who call Gwinnett home - who are in the national spotlight.

•Who: Wendy Hampton of Lawrenceville

•Claim to fame: Hampton, 35, is one of 14 people featured on "Everyday Edisons." The PBS series follows amateur inventors and the product development process. Hampton's invention is a board game called Merriam Webster's Befudiom.

In the game, players try to identify idioms, like "taking candy from a baby" or "kick the bucket," in one of four ways. Depending on how the die is rolled, players can act a saying out with charades, sketch it on a piece of paper, spell it in a hangman-like game or shout it with spoken clues.

•Family ties: The single mom, who lives in Lawrenceville, developed the game with the help of her daughter Taylor Hampton, 15. They have lived in Gwinnett for 10 years.

•Getting started: One day, when Taylor was bored, she ended up making a board game. When the two played it, Hampton realized how much fun she was having. "I felt like a kid again," said Hampton, who works as a credit and collections manager.

She took what her daughter had created and developed Befudiom. The first version was made out of construction paper and a pair of dice with pieces of paper pasted over the numbers. When Hampton played it with friends and family, the game was a hit.

In July 2005, Hampton decided to try out for the show after hearing about the casting call on a radio station. More than 700 people came to the Atlanta auditions and Hampton was one of three finalists chosen from the city.

•Finding inspiration: "When I first started working on the games, my daughter was my inspiration," Hampton said.

•A few favorite things: Hampton and her daughter enjoy playing classic board games, such as Scrabble and Monopoly.

•What the future holds: As part of "Everyday Edisons," the inventors' products were introduced to the marketplace. A survey done by the show showed that Befudiom had the potential to become the next Cranium, Hampton said.

Befudiom is now on sale through Sky Mall (www.skymall.com) and will soon be offered through other retail outlets. Visit www.befudiom.com.

The inventor is working on several other games. "At some point, I should have the means and the know-how to put those games into the market myself," Hampton said.

•See them in action: Hampton will appear on episodes four, six and seven of "Everyday Edisons." She was also part of episodes one, two and three. The show airs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays on channel 8, WXGA.