July 20, 2022
A beloved Jersey Shore landmark will now be immortalized in a brand new family-friendly board game.
Lucy the Elephant, a centerpiece of Margate, NJ, is one of 49 legendary roadside attractions featured in the "Zillionaires: Road Trip USA" game by Big Potato Games.
The game is a mash-up of Sequence and Monopoly, a game based on the streets of another Jersey Shore town: Atlantic City.
In Zillionaires, though, players take a "road trip" across the United States as they bid, bluff, and buy up quirky American roadside landmarks.
The premise of the two-to-five player game is that the players are the richest people in the U.S., with $49 zillion each to spend.
To win, players must buy four attractions in a row, but this can lead to bidding wars for unique roadside landmarks such as the "Museum of Bad Art," "Igloo Hotel," and, of course, Lucy the Elephant.
In reality, the 65-foot, six-story-tall wooden elephant was created in 1881 when Philadelphia-based land speculator, engineer and inventor James V. Lafferty Jr. commissioned architect William Free to construct the landmark to attract real estate buyers to Margate.
By 1969, the elephant nearly fell into disrepair, before the Save Lucy Committee was formed and helped secure necessary repairs, helping it gain placement on the National Park Registry of Historic Landmarks in 1976.
Since then, the Save Lucy Committee has continued its efforts to raise funds to save the landmark in creative ways. In 2021, after a failed 2020 attempt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wooden elephant was converted into a Valentine's Day overnight Airbnb for a whopping $6,500 fee.
Lucy the Elephant received a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service in 2021 toward necessary multi-million dollar renovation projects, which caused the landmark to close temporarily. The project was expected to be completed by Memorial Day 2022, but due to a continual lack of funding, the attraction remains closed (and is currently involved in a controversy over fundraising tactics, according to The Inquirer).
In the board game, the minimum bid for Lucy the Elephant is $3 zillion – if only someone had $3 zillion to donate toward the actual Lucy the Elephant's preservation.
Zillionaires: Road Trip USA is ideal for players eight-and-older, and is available for purchase at stores like Target.