The BigLeap.org challenge to design low cost educational games for kids is where it all began. I entered a maze racing concept I'd been developing. In a nutshell, kids glue cut up straws in a cutout cereal box to create a maze path. When their maze is complete, they swap it with another team, drop in a marble, and race.
I was absolutely stunned when my simple game idea took top honors. The contest was judged by experts in childhood learning and a renowned game designer. The winning press release stated "What impressed me most about this game was how it was designed for players to use their imagination...". Winning the contest inspired me to turn the idea into a marketable game.