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Laugh at 2009 with Bailout! The Game created by Coral Springs family

After all the financial troubles of 2009, laughing at it is a great way to celebrate the new beginnings of 2010. One way to do that is to play “Bailout—The Game.” Created by Shari and Jordy Sopourn of Coral Springs, the game is reminiscent of Monopoly, except that it revolves around the financial crises and bailouts of the last few years.

Similar to how Monopoly was born out of the Great Depression, “Bailout—The Game” is born out of the “Great Recession.”

Starting off, players choose a bank to play as (Side note: we love these names!): Bankruptcy O’ America, Washed Up Mutual, Worth Farless, Greedy Investors of America, Liquidation Brothers and No Cashvia and starts off on Bankrupt Blvd.

The game itself originated from the Sopourn’s family game night, where the family also discusses current events.

“I am a home school mom currently,” said Shari, “and every media outlet was talking about TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) and it was the kids’ idea to make a board game.”

But the game idea held off for a few weeks, even though it was already named “Bailout” jokingly, and when her fourth grader asked to play Bailout because Shari traditionally created games to teach curriculum, the couple sat down, and created the beginnings of a game for the family by using a giant dollar sign as the basis for the board design.

“It has completely changed—we have 17 versions of the game,” said Shari, saying originally the game was for her family. “We did so much research—the kids would watch TV for current events, but we tried not to leave anyone out. It just took a life of its own and a government parody came to life.”

The game itself moves players around the dollar sign on 100 individual spots (like most board games). Each player starts out with $2.5 billion dollars and the object is to go into the most debt to get a bailout. Money is similar to Monopoly, in 50, 100 and 500 denominations, but in millions, and there are also negative bills that show when players are in the hole. You gain or lose money depending on the directions on the spot.

Some examples:

-Invest in fuel cell car that works! Gain $50 million

-Bailout Bank prints money. Dollar value plummets. Lose $20 million.

-Spa retreat to reward executives. Lose $50 million.

- Invest in stalled urban redevelopment project. Lose $150 million.

-Sheriff reinforces immigration law. Unemployment decreases. Gain $150 million.

And while these are only a few of the 100 spots, all of them touch on at least one issue of the past few years’ financial crises.

“It just took a life of its own—and if it made us laugh out loud, it was put on the game board,” said Jordy.

Another neat aspect was the Frantic May/Frivolous Mac cards. If players land on the red spot for these cards, most times they lost money, but these cards didn’t just lose money from mortgage backed securities or collateralized debt obligations. Each one includes quotes from presidents past (both Democrat and Republican, though our most recent four presidents weren’t included).


-A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Gerald R. Ford.

-“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.” –Ronald Reagan.

-“If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only think lacking…is freedom.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower.

-“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” –Benjamin Franklin.

At, we played the game multiple times to really check it out for our readers, including with my five-year-old and a friend’s 11-year-old. My five-year-old enjoyed just rolling the dice and trying to understand money, while the older child really got into it and gave us the opportunity to explain some of the meanings behind what was on the board, talking not only about the bailouts of 2008-2009, but also some of the history behind the quotes mentioned above. This brings us to another component—the Sopourns also created a school curriculum for teachers or home-school parents to use in conjunction with playing the game.

But thinks the best feature is this: Made in the USA! When the Sopourns decided to take the chance and put their life savings into mass production of the game after they experienced significant business decline at home, they were determined to make the product in America, despite being told by staff at SCORE (a business resource arm of the federal Small Business Administration) not to manufacture in America because they wouldn’t be able to get angel investors.

“We decided to do it on our own—it was more important to create American jobs,” said Shari, adding the family chose to produce in Battle Creek, Michigan because of the lack of job availability there in the production field. “We’re feeling the recession. The last thing we wanted to do was send jobs overseas.”

To be green, the entire workforce is on four-day work weeks as well as working from home if they don’t work in the manufacturing plant to save electricity, etc…

To learn more about this award-winning game (four separate awards from The Toy Man as well as several others), visit The board game is $29.99 while a separate Bailout card game is $14.99. The card game has similar concepts to the board game but is designed for a slightly younger group of children.

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Jan 12 2010. Filed under Broward County, Business, Coral Springs, Federal Government, Fort Lauderdale, Local news, Money, National politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Laugh at 2009 with Bailout! The Game created by Coral Springs family”

  1. [...] of all proceeds from sales will go to the American Red Cross International Fund. The creators of Bailout! The Game will also be there giving away a free game to those who donate. Call with [...]


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