Wildly unstable turnip prices made me a bellionaire.
One might think bells, the fictional currency of Animal Crossing, make the world go 'round. Everything from house upgrades to new outfits cost bells, but a secretive class above us trades turnips. Yes, yes, Tom Nook certainly financed his recent private island acquisition with gains on the stalk market. On one lucky day, I amassed myself a small fortune, too.
On Sunday mornings, New Horizons newcomer Daisy Mae sells turnips for about 100 bells each. Shopkeepers Timmy and Tommy Nook buy turnips every other day of the week for a random price, with a price change at noon. Turnips spoil in one week. I was disappointed to find the Nooks offering 84 bells a turnip after I had poured my savings into 96-bell turnips just days before. I took to Twitter in search of a better price.
Twitter user @PaoloLejano had a price of 618 bells per turnip and let me make a few trips. I sold through my stock and left about half my profits as thanks. In just a few minutes, I had more than 4 million bells in my bank account and had paid off my final house upgrade. I didn't think life on my island could get any better.
I awoke to find my town infested with eggs. The Bunny Day update brought a terrifying Easter bunny and a boring questline, but the cherry blossoms balanced my annoyance. I prepared for a quiet, beautiful day. At noon, I checked my turnip prices out of curiosity: a whopping 544 bells. I shared a screenshot online and dropped my price in the NWR Discord. When one member assumed it was an April Fool's prank, I knew this was a big deal.
I was inundated with requests to visit my island. Most players request tips for their trouble, but I was set on bells, so I just asked for an interesting item. I left “interesting” up to interpretation. I used the new Dodo Code system to quickly invite strangers to my game without the need to swap Friend Codes.
Then, the nightmare began. Each time a visitor lands on your island, all players freeze in place for a load screen. The length varies with internet strength, but it's too long with even a great connection. Users with extremely poor internet would crash the session for all players and deactivate the previous Dodo Code. At times, we'd sit through minutes of back-to-back load screens before anyone could take more than a step.
Nevertheless, everyone I played with was grateful and gracious. I interacted with more than 100 Animal Crossing players in just one day, each more kind than the one before. No one took their frustration with disconnects or load times out on me. No one spammed the in-game chat or trolled. No one stole a thing.
A few players asked to make multiple trips. I assume some of them had set their own clocks to Sunday to create an infinite loop, but they were considerate and always asked before returning. The items I received certainly were interesting, although lots of players still left bells. I now have a wizard's robe, a train set, and enough eggs to feed the whole island.
By the end of the day, I was exhausted, like I had just finished a holiday shift at the mall. I also felt great. Some mix of the stress, accomplishment, and just plain human interaction left me beaming. I don't know that I've ever gotten this much out of an online game before.
I might not have any more turnips to sell this week, but I'm absolutely keeping an eye on the stalk market. Today, my shop is buying turnips for just 54 bells. I'm a bit grateful.