Sometimes you hear something so far-fetched, you need to take a moment to let it all sink in...like the theory that Willy Wonka existed in the Potterverse.
Yes, you heard that right, two of the biggest pieces of childhood in one universe, totally laughable....Or is it?
Take a look at the supporting evidence for yourself!
Harry Potter and the Muggle world
We already know that the wizarding world has some interaction with the Muggle world, such as the Minister for Magic meeting the Muggle Prime Minister and Muggle parents shopping in Diagon Alley. With talk of purebloods, halfbloods and Muggle-borns we know that there has been interaction between the two communities for a long time.
J.K Rowling confirms around 1000 students attend Hogwarts and with an ever dwindling number of pureblood families you could assume perhaps half of the students at Hogwarts have at least one Muggle parent.
So where am I going with this?
Surely with such a lot of interaction, the wizard bank Gringotts receives a lot of Muggle money. Hogwarts school fees alone could amount to as much as $21.5mil with each student paying approximately $43,000 per school year.
That's a hell of a lot of Muggle money coming in every year that Gringotts has to exchange for wizarding money. So the question remains, what does Gringotts do with the actual Muggle money?
Maybe they start a business in the Muggle world run by a savvy wizard by the name of Willy Wonka?
Willy Wonka and the Wizarding World
Willy Wonka was a Muggle-born wizard who attended Hogwarts (probably in Ravenclaw, amirite?). He was a sharp business man with strong aptitude in Potions, Divination and Muggle studies. He graduated Hogwarts, and with the advice of Hogwarts house elves (and their recipes) started a small sweet shop named Honeydukes, which was an instant success.
After the success of Honeydukes he felt he could go bigger and better so he struck a deal with Gringotts. The wizard bank gave Wonka a huge loan to create a candy factory. Wonka would need to run the factory as a Muggle business but use his wizard potions skills and recipes acquired from house elves to create new and wildly popular candy.
Wonka would use the profits from his business to purchase gold in the Muggle marketplace which will then be transferred to Gringotts (Gringotts couldn't just go about purchasing huge amounts of gold themselves, as it would raise alarms, but a successful business owner definitely could). The gold would then be used to create wizard money.
Wonka would effectively act as a money launderer for Gringotts.
Charlie and the Wizarding World
But of course when you have popular products in a competitive industry, you're going to have industry spies. Unfortunately for Wonka, people stole his recipes to make their own candy, not knowing it was a magic potion. The Ministry got involved and modified memories as best they could but they couldn't keep up with the large number of spies and out of safety concerns they shut Wonka down.
But with such a successful solution to their Muggle money problem, Gringotts wasn't going to just take that lying down. The bank managed to convince the Ministry that using House Elf labour (under the guise of them being exotic-looking workers from Loompaland named 'Oompa Loompas') was a good solution and the factory could now run without any Muggle involvement.
But, what about the golden tickets?
Wonka's divination skills has served him well during his time running the factory, it meant he could see what types of trends and flavors would be popular and profitable. But his foresight also allowed him to foresee his own death not too far into the future. Wonka needed a plan for the future of his company, and that's when he foresaw the five Muggle-born wizard children who all possessed the necessary traits to keep the chocolate factory running.
Wonka created the huge competition with the Golden Tickets, but of course the Golden Tickets were never distributed randomly, they were always intended to go to the five children of the prophecy.
He knew that of the five, only one would fulfill his prophecy (much like how either Harry or Neville could have been The Chosen One) and the other four wouldn't make it to the end of his tour. During the tour the prophecy revealed itself - Augustus was too clumsy, Violet ate a blueberry gum potion still in the testing stages, Veruca Salt was too greedy to run the factory, and Mike Teevee was shrunk as the result of a new type of portkey.
So, Charlie Bucket won the factory. Upon completion of his schooling at Hogwarts (Gryffindor house) he moved into the factory to learn all he could from Willy Wonka before he died. As it turned out, Charlie's gift of the Sight had led him to buy the candy bar in which he found the golden ticket, he just didn't know it at the time.
I don't know about you, but the further I read the more I had to admit this is one theory that might be true...
What do you think of the Wonka/Potter universe theory?