Manchester woman, 82, hopes her new card game will be a winner

Manchester, NJ - Eighty Two -year-old Bettina Zoppi has been fascinated with card games since she was a young girl growing up in Newark. She would play cards for hours with her family, and the games would get quite competitive, said her sister Julie Barrasso.

"We just loved to play a game called Michigan rum," said Barrasso, 80. "We would play until the wee hours of the night."

Now a resident of Crestwood Village II in the Whiting section, Zoppi stills plays a lot of cards with her friends and neighbors. But these days she plays a game called ScooPit, which she invented and is awaiting a patent.

Five thousand ScooPit games have been manufactured, and Zoppi has enlisted a local artist named Dominic Mucella to market the game. 

It is available at this web site and is being targeted for schools, senior facilities and church groups.

Anyone age 8 and older will really enjoy the game, Zoppi said.

"You see kids all the time these days adding with a calculator or on a computer," Zoppi said. "With ScooPit, you learn to add and make quick decisions with your mind. That is so important, I feel. The game is not only challenging, but it's also a great way for kids to learn math skills."

Zoppi helped design the cards and the concept for the game. There is "Z" on the colorful cards standing for "Zoppi." Each player is dealt five cards, and higher-number cards are worth more points. The concept is to scoop up as many cards as possible off the table.

For instance, if a player has a No. 10 card, he can scoop up the combination of 8 and 2 off the table. Red cards count for bonus points. There are a couple 25-point ScooPit cards, which are very valuable. The player who scoops the highest total of point cards wins the game.

Five years ago, Zoppi started making little cardboard cutouts to test the game. She played ScooPit with friends, tweaked some of her original ideas and found many people liked the concept.

That is when she went ahead with manufacturing plans and an attempt to sell ScooPit.

"I believe God has given me the creative talent to make something like this," Zoppi said. "I am still kind of amazed that I have gotten this far with my original idea. Ideally, I am hoping that some big game company comes along and makes me an offer. But if that doesn't happen, I won't be disappointed. I have gotten very far with this, and it really is a good game."

Zoppi adds: "It's a good stocking stuffer gift. Buy it and check it out."

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