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Baker advances to national finals
Doughnut recipe could earn $1M
Lise Ode of Forsyth County has advanced to the finals of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. Her recipe is for German chocolate doughnuts. - photo by FCN file photo

When Lise Ode heard her husband yelling on the other side of the house, she worried at first that something bad had happened.

Then he told her she had a 1 in 100 chance of winning $1 million.

Ode knew she had earned a spot in the final round of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, which will take place in Las Vegas from Nov. 10-12.

The Forsyth County woman is one of two from Georgia and 100 across the nation who will compete in this year’s grand prize round of the iconic home cooking contest.

Ode received enough online votes in the semifinal round to advance for her German chocolate doughnut recipe in the “Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts" category.

Her husband got the email first on Oct. 2 that let her know she was moving on.

“I was very excited,” she said. “How often do you get [a chance at $1 million]? And it’s not just random, like the lottery. It’s better odds, but you also have a little bit of control over it by how well you cook your recipe.”

She’s anxiously awaiting the announcement of this year’s celebrity judge. Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and Marie Osmond have been some of the recent hosts.

Ode said it’s “hard to know” what may have put her in the top tier of semifinalists, since she wasn’t told in the email how many votes she garnered.

Though judges picked the recipes for the semifinal round, this was the first year the finalists were chosen by online voting.

Ode said publicity, news articles and her mother helped spread the word for her recipe.

She’ll be traveling with her mom to the contest, where she’s “looking forward to the whole experience.”

Contestants can make their recipes up to three times and select the best one for the judges to taste, she said.

The recipe must be seven ingredients or less, including two Pillsbury products, and take no more than 30 minutes to prepare.

Ode’s recipe calls for frying a Pillsbury biscuit, filling it with coconut frosting and topping with chocolate, pecans and coconut to make the sweet breakfast pastry.