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From left, Amelia Hamilton-Miller, Lyall Hamilton-Miller, Larry Frates, Oliver Frates, and Joan Frates. (Courtesy)

Survey says Frates family was a big hit

GILMANTON — Larry and Joan Frates have been doing creative things on stage with students in the Lakes Region, particularly in Laconia, for decades.

But as viewers of the television game show &#';Family Feud&#'; know, the Frates family put on a stage show of their own, winning $20,500 on shows that aired at the end of last week and Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Now, the five Frates family members who appeared on the show — daughter Amelia Hamilton-Miller, her husband Lyall Hamilton-Miller, Larry, son Oliver Frates, and Joan — will be splitting the cash won by defeating two other families in the survey question and answer game. Daughter Tekla and Oliver's wife, Ali, will also share in the winnings.

&#';Some of us are putting the money away for a rainy day, I think my parents have a project they need it for,&#'; said Amelia Hamilton-Miller. &#';We've all decided to spend some of it doing something together, too.&#';

Larry Frates is known in the area as an arts teacher at Laconia Middle School for three decades, and also as the co-owner of the Frates Creative Arts Center in Laconia, where he and his wife teach theater, dance, and arts classes to students in the area.

Tekla Frates applied to the show in April, and the family went to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn., for a tryout. The family was then invited for tryouts at the Family Feud studios in Atlanta, Ga., in May, and soon found themselves competing on the show, Hamilton-Miller said.

They defeated two families in two shows and were defeated in a third. They were invited back for a fourth show, however, because of a discrepancy found in the third show, but lost again.

They won $500 in the first show and $20,000 in the second show, and though they lost their last two contests, the experience was worth it, Larry Frates said.

&#';It was so much fun, it was a great family thing to do, and we won, too,&#'; Frates said.

Family members are thankful to daughter Tekla Frates, who was in the audience with Ali Frates during the competitions.

&#';It's the most fun I've had doing something different,&#'; Hamilton-Miller said. &#';You don't have to be the smartest person to win the game, you just have to play the best, which makes it really fun.&#';


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