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The Guy Who Invented The Operation Board Game Can’t Afford His Own Surgery

People have started sending him money and messages of support.

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A crowdfunding project has been launched to raise money for John Spinello, the inventor of the hugely popular board game Operation, so he can receive real-life medical care.

Spinello famously sold the rights to his invention for just $500 when he was a 20-year-old student.

The 77-year-old claims he was also promised a full-time job when he finished his studies but never received it.

In a video posted to YouTube on 18 October, his friends and fellow game inventors Tim Walsh and Peggy Walsh revealed things had become tough for Spinello and his family.

View this video on YouTube

The pair said they were launching the campaign to help him pay for some "much-needed medical care".

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Spinello said he needs to raise $25,000 for oral surgery and can't afford it.

And yesterday he appeared in a video to announce that donations had now reached over $15,000.

View this video on YouTube

Spinello said the messages he had received were overwhelming, and he that he was autographing games as fast as they came in.

"I couldn't be happier, I hope I get writer's cramp," he added.

Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at

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