PHOTOS: Lotto winner who bought Batteries Plus franchise opens Bonita Springs store
By Sabina Bhasin
Three years ago, Jason Fry wasn’t living the American Dream.
The nearly 6-foot, 6-inch burly man was diligently slaving each day using the standard formula for success, but despite his hard work and persistence he remained on the brink of bankruptcy.
That is until a co-worker’s 18th birthday three days before Christmas. This lucky day in 2007 ultimately sweetened his dream with $47 million worth of icing on his cake.
“Just for some reason, I said get me one, too,” Fry said in the back room of his third Batteries Plus store. “He got me one, one for me, one for him, and he gave me the good one.”
The good one was a winning lottery ticket and his golden ticket to a new business venture. One that didn’t need luck, just the capital.
Fry bought a 14-year-old Batteries Plus in Fort Myers, a location, which after only two and half years in Fry’s possession, is now the chain’s No. 1 store in the nation.
With the help of his Lotto winnings, which were split with another winner in Bonita Springs, totaling a net of $27 million, Fry had taken the first step to success. But it still took him three days to take the little square piece of paper that was burning a hole in his back pocket and redeem it for his winnings.
True to a jokingly spoken deal that now seems like a premonition, Fry split the winnings with a lucky 18-year-old busboy. Ultimately, he walked away with a lump sum of nearly $14 million.
Fry did embark on the expected shopping spree ? homes in northern Indiana and Fort Myers, a Shelby motorcycle, a Cadillac Escalade, a boat, a $20,000 Gator football day complete with a limo for a group of friends, and most recently the Golf World 2 Driving Range in Fort Myers.
Fry took a tip from his old college roommate in Orlando and has now turned it into a growing empire.
“I think the battery thing is good, it’s blowing up so big. I mean everything is batteries, and the franchise itself is blowing up, people are wanting to get into it,” Fry said. “I got people phoning me all day, they see it’s an A+ franchise, they see the numbers, they see how great of a business it is, people just call me and want to know more about it.”
Continuing the momentum of that store’s success, the 37-year-old businessman opened a location in Naples and, last Tuesday, a third location in Bonita Springs off of U.S. 41.
The new Batteries Plus store in Bonita Springs is at 24830 U.S. 41, near where Old 41 Road and U.S. 41 intersect in northern Bonita Springs. It is in Pelican Village Plaza at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Pelican Landing. Call (239) 405-8143.
But Fry’s not done.
Given that Batteries Plus is a 25-year-old franchise that sells nearly 50 million batteries per year, and is ranked as the No. 1 franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine and D&B AllBusiness.com, Fry is proud of his decision to invest in the company.
“I see us having one in Lehigh (Acres),” Fry said, gazing out onto the greener pastures that have become his life. “I see us having one toward Estero, another in Naples and possibly another one in Fort Myers. Within the next 10 years, we’re thinking seven or eight more stores.”
For Fry to have garnered so much success in such a brief amount of time, it almost seems there is something he knows that others don’t. For Fry, it’s the lessons he’s learned from his humble beginnings, the exhausting years before hitting the jackpot.
“I’ve worked for people all my life, and I think if you treat your employees with respect, they are going to be proud of where they work at,” Fry explained while standing behind the counter with his employee, Derek. “That’s the kind of employees you want, the ones that will go out and back your company.”
Fry has transitioned from a life spent anxiously staring at the ticks on the clock, willing the hands to move faster so the income tax return can come and help the family survive, to surviving a divorce ? where the winnings were once again split evenly ? and propelling himself to owner of the most successful Batteries Plus franchise in Florida.
While the sun isn’t expected to set on Fry’s Florida battery empire any time soon, he isn’t motivated by money, buying up stock or Batteries Plus stores. Rather, the power is in four very little hands.
“I have two little girls, and it’s great now that I can spend so much time with them ? that’s the greatest thing for me right now,” Fry said like a genuine proud papa reflecting on the times when keeping his family afloat took precedence to creating memories. “It’s weird now, though. My oldest daughter, when I was working all the time, I just don’t remember her at certain ages, because I was working all the time. Now my youngest one, I remember everything about those years, because I get to be with them all the time.
“To me, that’s the greatest thing about winning.”Three years ago, Jason Fry wasn’t living the American Dream. The nearly 6-foot, 6-inch burly man was diligently slaving each day using the standard formula for success, but despite his hard work and persistence he remained on the brink of bankruptcy.
How Not to Invest Your Lottery Jackpot
Before Jason Fry owned four Batteries Plus Bulbs stores in Florida, he was a bartender and probation officer preparing to file for bankruptcy. Then he and a co-worker won $47 million in the lottery! Jason made many purchases – both practical and impractical – and he went on to invest his winnings as a multi-unit franchise owner. Not all instant multimillionaires have the sense of responsibility that Jason had, though. Many lack the financial knowledge to make sound investment decisions and become cautionary tales of what not to do if you strike it rich. Read More opens in new window
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1325 Walnut Ridge Drive
Hartland, WI 53029
Batteries Plus Bulbs and Batteries Plus franchise retail store locations are independently owned and operated.
This website and the franchise sales information on this site do not represent an offer to sell a franchise. The offer of a franchise can only be made through the delivery of a franchise disclosure document. Certain states require that we register the franchise disclosure document in those states. We are not directing the communications on this web site to the residents of any of those states. Moreover, we will not offer or sell franchises in those states until we have registered the franchise (or obtained an applicable exemption from registration) and delivered the franchise disclosure document to the prospective franchisee that complies with applicable law.Not every instant winner makes sound investments like Jason Fry, Batteries Plus Bulbs franchisee. Read the cautionary tales of those who almost lost it all. ]]>