Sitting at home in Coral Springs last fall, trying to explain the intricacies of the federal bank bailout to their 9-year-old and 11-year-old kids, Shari and Jordy Sopourn hit on the perfect, Jon Stewart-style solution: ridicule.
They devised a board game that's reminiscent of Monopoly, except the players are bank CEOs, and their goal is to lose all their money and get a bailout.
Along the path to destruction, they might meet a Ponzi schemer who defrauds investors, or be forced to call a plumber named Joe when a pipe bursts. There are cards for Frantic May and Frivolous Mac, banks named Washed Up Mutual and Bankruptcy of America. In short, Bailout! The Game is a treasure trove of American history.
"We are an equal opportunity offender," says Shari Sopourn.
Jordy is an architect who designed the game's board, while Shari, who home-schools their children, did the research by watching tons of TV news, and then taking suggestions from the kids.
The Sopourns dipped into their savings to make a few sample versions of the game, and were met with such enthusiasm that they started mass-producing it at a factory in Battle Creek, Michigan -- a town they chose because it had one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.
Now they say they've sold over 500 games. The Sopourns went on Fox News to pitch the game, and later got to watch Fox interns play Bailout! on live television.
"What it's done for our family...it's been an amazing experience," says Shari Sopourn.
Bailout! The Game sells for $29.99, and is available at A Latte Fun and Romano's Pharmacy in Coral Springs, and online at bailoutthegame.com.