A 50% Stake in Domino’s Pizza Was Once Traded for a Used VW Beetle

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Daven Hiskey runs the wildly popular interesting fact website Today I Found Out. To subscribe to his "Daily Knowledge" newsletter, click here.

It happened in 1961—just a little under a year after brothers Tom and James Monaghan had purchased a pizza restaurant, DomiNick’s, for $500. After eight months of running the business as a partnership, James Monaghan decided to trade his stake to his brother for a used Volkswagen Beetle.

Fast-forward 38 years, and Tom Monaghan decided to retire and sell most of the company that was now known as Domino’s Pizza. He got a bit more than the price of a used Volkswagen Beetle, though: He sold 93 percent of the company for $1 billion. One can only imagine the awkwardness at the Monaghan family gatherings. “So, how’s that Beetle running?”

Avoid the Noid

This isn’t the only funny story surrounding this company. In the 1980s, Domino’s Pizza ran an advertising campaign featuring a character known as “The Noid,” who would steal pizzas. The slogan that accompanied Domino’s campaign was “Avoid the Noid."

In 1989, a guy by the name of Kenneth Lamar Noid became convinced that Domino’s was referring to him. Enraged by the perceived personal attack, Mr. Noid held two Domino’s Pizza employees hostage in one of the chain's Atlanta restaurants. During the five hour ordeal, he did not harm the employees, but did get hungry and forced them to make him pizza—which meant that Noid actually was stealing pizza. He eventually surrendered to police. Apparently, one should actually try to avoid the pizza-stealing Kenneth Noid.

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