Speed Reads

Irony Alert

The creator of Operation now needs help paying for his surgery

It has been 50 years since John Spinello invented the game Operation, and now, friends and fans are raising funds for his own health care.

The 77-year-old needs $25,000 for oral surgery, but is having difficulty footing such a hefty bill, The Huffington Post says. A group of friends, also toy designers, have started a crowdfunding campaign, and Spinello is signing Operation games to raise money. In December, an original prototype of the game will be auctioned off, and will likely bring in thousands of dollars.

Spinello invented the game as an industrial design student at the University of Illinois; he was assigned the task of creating an electric game where the user could not touch the metal edges with a metal wand. "I got an A," he told The Huffington Post. This led to a meeting with toy designer Marvin Glass (the man behind Lite Brite and Mouse Trap), who offered Spinello $500 ($3,771 today) and a job upon graduation.

The promised job never appeared, and he was paid only after calling the office several times, but Spinello said he isn't bitter. "I prefer not to dwell on that aspect and focus more on the joy the game has brought to so many over the years," he said.