Journalist Nellie Bly became famous in the late 1800s for her investigative and adventurous stories published primarily in New York World newspaper. Early in her career Bly went undercover to get the stories of female factory workers and later feigned insanity in order to by committed to an asylum, writing about the experience in her piece “Ten Days in a Mad-House”.
Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days was popular at the time, following the wealthy Philaes Fogg, who takes a bet to do exactly what the title suggests. Bly wanted to see if Verne’s fictional account could actually be achieved, so in 1889 she embarked on an 24,899-mile trip around the globe, covered by the New York World. Bly actually ended up meeting with Verne on her journey. It took her 72 days and- for a few months- she held a world record.
Upon returning to New York, Bly chronicled her trip by writing Around the World in Seventy-Two Days. Her story was so popular, it inspired a board game- “Round the World with Nellie Bly”. The game takes players through each of the 72 days and the places she saw on her travels. The game included a spinner and four pieces- players spin and move forward the number of days the spinner lands on.