Money, Cash, Coins

Money Won

Who of us has not had thoughts of winning money.  When I was a kid in the 1960’s, a friend of mine won $135 on bingo night.  That totally impressed me.  I was about thirteen years of age at the time and got paid only $5 to mow a yard.  It would take me all summer to earn as much as he won in one night.  I think it cost about $10 to enter the bingo tournament.  His parents entered him in the tournament, something mine would never have even considered.

I attended a conference one time in Vegas and meandered through some of the casinos to check things out.  I don’t know how to gamble, so I passed the time watching others lose their money.  I heard some commotion at one of the craps tables.  I put a quarter down to place a bet, and maybe learn how to play.  One of card dealers asked me what I was doing. 

“I’m  placing a bet,” I told him.  “Not here,” he said, adding, “See that guy with the dice?  He won over $1,000,000 last night.  Some of those chips of his are $10,000.  You can try your luck at another table.”  I retrieved my quarter and looked for another way to lose my 25 cents. 

I bought a lottery ticket for a dollar one time when the jackpot was over $100,000,000 but forgot to check if I had won or not.  That’s about it for me as far as winning money.  Yet, I think it about often, that is, if I ever were to win money in Vegas or the lottery.  I think we all do.

I included on the Treasure Trove board game a situation whereby a player can win money.  The following card is a play on words, but still fun for the player drawing the card. In Korea, the currency is called the “won,” just as we have the dollar. 



           It is interesting how some words have an easier time becoming universal words than most others.  Moolah seems to be one of those unique words that caught on as people from different languages and cultures throughout the word use it to convey money.  I don’t know if I hear it as much as I once did but I’ll bet if I did use it in conversation people would know what I was referring to: money.

            I believe I was in junior high when I first heard one of the friends of my older brother ask someone if they had enough moolah for the show.  When I asked what that meant, they gave me the look that I was dumb for not knowing it meant money.  I just assumed it came from another language..  Similar to aloha I thought, so it must mean money in somebody’s language, probably from the Hawaiian people.  I never gave it much thought.   

            It turns out no one for sure knows where the word moolah originated, much less what it actually means.  I could be mistaken but my limited internet research revealed that the islanders of Fiji, not Hawaii, referred to money as ‘moolah.’  I also cannot confirm this but have read that they still do.  The currency used on the Fiji islands is the U.S. dollar.


Moolah has a nice sound to it and I wanted to place that little factoid into the board game TreasureTrove.  The following is one of the 12 situation cards related to Australia.  Each of the continents has their own 12 situation cards.

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Roman Coins


        News reports the last few days report of a remarkable recent discovery in Britain by a lone treasure hunter.  A cache of thousands of Roman coins was found in April by the use of a metal detector that picked up metal objects under about a foot of soil.  The treasure sleuth handled the find very professionally by immediately contacting the proper authorities after digging up a portion of his discovery. The find is worth millions and is also one of valued historical significance.  

            Hundreds of the coins have the inscription of Marcus Aurelius Carausius, a Roman ruler of Britain during the 3rdcentury.  They may be some of the first coins minted on the island of England.  This will generate renewed interest in the history of Roman Britain.  In 2009 another treasure find occurred in England of gold artifacts also discovered by an treasure seeker.  These artifacts are presently referred to as the Staffordshire Hoard.   The numerous images on the artifacts of the Staffordshire find shed light on the early Anglo-Saxon history of Britain.  The Portable Antiquities Scheme(PAS) of the British Museum is tasked with handling the treasures from discoveries such as these.  England passed the Treasure Act in 1996 which allows compensation to the finders of such discoveries.  As for the Roman coins, they are valued at over $1 million dollars.

           The purpose of the PAS is to encourage the public to voluntarily report findings that may have archaeological value.  Each year chance discoveries are made by gardeners, farmers, and sleuths using metal-detectors.  The sooner any find is reported the greater the ability of professional archaeologists to evaluate the value of the find and the historical circumstances of the culture relating to the found artifacts or treasure.  The Treasure Act states:  “All finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same findspot, which are over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report  such items.”      

The individual who found the Roman coins did just as authorities had hoped these measures would encourage.  The man stated:

“I knew the find was important and I needed archaeological help, so I contacted my local Finds Liaison Officer. I have made many finds over the years, but this is my first coin hoard and it was a fascinating experience to take part in the excavation of it.”

English museums are currently raising the money to compensate not only the individual with the metal detector but also the owner of the land where the coins were found.  This process strives to make everyone a winner in the hunt for lost treasure.  It seems to be working. 

            When I created the board game TreasureTrove in the late 1980’s one of the sixteen treasure pieces on the board is called Roman Coins.  I placed the treasure finding in Central Europe on the game board.  The following description within the game’s instructional booklet reads as follows:

Faux Roman coins fabricated for Game

                     The Mediterranean Sea is full of sunken ships.  Find a  Roman galley laden with coins. 

Value: 10 Million   



  I had read about occasional findings of Roman coins in Europe.  When I lived in Germany in the early 1980’s Roman coins were found underneath a bridge in a city called Trier which at one time housed a Roman garrison.  Trier was about a 20 minute drive from where my wife and I lived.  I believe it was only a few dozen coins here and there, nothing of the magnitude of hundreds, much less thousands of coins as was recently unearthed.   Little did I envision that my imagined treasure for the game would actually come true for someone.

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