How Have You Fared At McNopoly?

For strictly journalistic purposes not having anything whatsoever to do with me being a sucker for silly, addictive promotions, I visited McDonald’s four times over the past week to collect Monopoly game pieces. Emboldened by the ubiquitous ads that say one in four game pieces are winners, I racked up 40 chances to become a millionaire, or at least a Redbox free rentailaire. But all I have to show for my endeavors are five pounds gained and a free medium fry.

A long time vet of the game, I look forward to every new edition of the contest with enthusiasm. But that joy has been dampened because I’m 1 for 40 in instant win game pieces.

I’m not calling McDonald’s a truth-stretcher or anything, but hopefully my luck will soon change, or at least I’ll hear of others out there who are slugging .500 to make up for my Cincinnati Reds-like batting average.

If you’ve played the game, what have you won so far, and what’s your success percentage?

Comments

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  1. NoRegrets78 says:

    Medium Fry, in all my years of playing. I played a lot more when I was younger though, now not so much.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      I worked at McDs after high school for a bit, and one year my co worker peeled a sticker off the cup that was headed for the garbage…she won a nice Sony stereo system. She gave it to one of our regular customers to claim for her, and her son had a nice christmas present

    • knoxblox says:

      Yeah, always fries for me, but…

      In the second or third year the contest was held, our family was standing behind the million-dollar winner. The thing that irritated me most about it was my dad made me stop and “be polite” by holding the door open for the soon-to-be-winners when they were still fifteen feet away from the entrance.

      Oh well, at least it went to a nice little old lady and her granddaughter, and not some jerk yelling about no Chicken McNuggets.

  2. SonarTech52 says:

    Hmm let’s see…

    I’ve gotten 15-and 20% off at footlocker (came in handy for my wife’s J’s I bought her)
    bunch of fries
    few breakfast sandwiches..

    thats about it.. I dont have an actual count but most of the time I got something, just nothing really good..

    • MercuryPDX says:

      THIS.

      AFAIC, a 15% off coupon is not a good prize. :(

      • guroth says:

        I know it’s nitpicking, and I don’t think it is a very good prize either, but in the right hands that 15% coupon could go toward something that was already going to be bought, and end up being worth $15 or more. That would make it a fair deal better than a free french fry.

  3. 333 (only half evil) says:

    0 for 4

  4. Spöönmann says:

    0/7, but the kids are happy as they normally don’t get much fast food.

  5. Dragon Tiger says:

    I went this past Saturday, got two game pieces each on the cup and on the hash browns, one of which was a freebie. I believe that where it says 1 in 4 win, there’s an asterisk that indicates that they’re mostly food prizes.

  6. RubiksDude says:

    1 for 16, with my win being a free medium fry. I just need Kentucky Avenue to win the Beach Resort vacation though.

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    First off, I haven’t eaten at McDonalds in years and second off, I still remember the “scam” that happened with their game pieces a few yeras ago.

    In 2000, the US promotion was halted after fraud was uncovered. A subcontracting company called Simon Marketing (a then-subsidiary of Cyrk), which was hired by McDonald’s to organize and promote the game, failed to recognize a flaw in its procedures, and the chief of security, Jerome P. Jacobson,[1] was able to remove the “most expensive” game pieces, which he then passed to associates who would redeem them and share the proceeds. The associates “won” almost all of the top prizes over several years, including McDonald’s giveaways that did not have the Monopoly theme. The associates “netted” over $24 million. The scheme was uncovered when one of the participants informed on its ringleaders to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While the fraud was perpetrated without McDonald’s knowledge, the McDonald’s Corporation voluntarily attempted to rectify the situation by issuing payouts to new (legitimate) winners, awarding five $1 million annuity prizes, and fifty $100,000 prizes over a five-day period.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      The odds are another thing that is completely mind boggling about this game. You will hit Powerball about 240 times before you win the grand Monopoly prize.

      Odds of winning a Sony Home theater and Flat Panel HDTV: about 1 in 91,697,000. That’s less than winning a few million in the Texas Lottery (which is 1 in 25,827,165).

      The odds for the trip for two to Vegas: 1 in 114,621,250.

      The odds are 3.5 billion to 1 against you winning a $50,000 prize.

      And as for the $5 million grand prize: “Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 41,497,391,309.”
      Yes sir, that’s 41 BILLION with a capital B.

      • Kibit says:

        WOW! Talk about putting things in to perspective.

      • XTC46 says:

        Right, but these are also “free” entries you get when you buy something to eat (which most people who play would do anyway) as opposed to buying a chance to win specifically (like a lottery)

        • Blueskylaw says:

          Great point to make, but they know that people who were not planning to eat there will come in to get their lottery “fix”, therefore driving extra sales. They’re not doing this because they are a benevolent corporation, right?

      • proscriptus says:

        As my statistician friend says of the Powerball, “buying a ticket does not statistically improve your odds of winning.” It’s a difficult notion for most people to adsorb. The alternate version, as promulgated by a coworker, is “What has six balls and rapes illegal aliens?” A: The lottery.

      • zegron says:

        I always thought that the lottery was a tax on those who can’t do math. Seems I was right.

    • FCBLComish says:

      I actually know one of the people who went to jail on this one.

    • jessjj347 says:

      I thought that every company gives the top prizes to its upper-level employees..
      Has it really stopped after this SNAFU?

  8. pgh9fan1 says:

    Two free McFlurries and one free medium fries.

  9. JacobRoss97 says:

    Since I’m a big Monopoly fan I’m a sucker for this promotion…

    • Michaela says:

      Same. Luckily, I only purchase coffee from Mickey D’s, so the game doesn’t hurt my waistline.

      • jesirose says:

        As long as you don’t mind maggots in your coffee, party on. http://consumerist.com/2010/09/maggots-cleansed-from-mcdonalds-coffee-machine.html

        • Michaela says:

          Two quotes to consider:

          1. “It’s important to note that at no time did the area of the machine in question come in contact with the beverages.”

          2. “’Our specialty coffee machine (which makes the hot mochas, lattes and cappuccinos) has been working on and off for they past couple of weeks and started to smell of something I can only describe as ungodly.’”

          I honestly don’t see McDonald’s as any less sanitary than the other eateries in my town. I mean, I read all the health signs (not just the grade, but why points were docked), and our local Mickey D’s always seems to have an A.

  10. sheldonmoon69 says:

    My theory is that no one wins any of the big items.

    The best thing about Monopoly at McDonalds is that I know the McRib is just around the corner! LOL

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Any one know if the 1-in-4 refers to 1-in-4 game pieces, or 1 in 4 visits? It’s sounds like an obvious answer, but I wouldn’t put it past McD’s to assume on average someone buys 3 items that have a game piece. So, through marketing speak could spin that as saying 1-in-4 chance per visit, meaning 1 of every 12 game pieces is a winner.

    • WhyNotTry says:

      It is 1 out of every 4 “Game Pieces” where each Game Piece contains 2 stamps. Still a little misleading.
      So far I am 0 for 2 game pieces (0/4 Stamps)

  12. apd09 says:

    The chances of winning may be correct being at 1 in 4, but that does not equate to equal placement of the pieces. Look at it this way there are 8 pieces to give you the 1 in 4 chance: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, but the winning pieces could be piece 1 and 8. So if you buy items that give you 4 tabs, you could be getting 2, 3, 4, and 5.

    Or they may have not as many winning pieces in the entire shipment and instead the store down the road 2 miles got a higher percentage of them. if the delivery guy drops off 6 boxes to the store of french fry containers, there could be a lower number of winning pieces in those boxes and a higher number down the road based again on the idea of 1 in 4, the store with more losing pieces may have gotten boxes 2 and 3, while the one down the street got boxes 1 and 4 which contained more of the winners.

    • jackbishop says:

      While you are correct that identical probability does not equate to uniform distribution, especially in small samples, the expectation, at least, is that in a large sample there’d be a distribution much closer to 1/4, and the 40 pulls here isn’t too small a number.

      By my calculations, 0 out of 4 has a probability of ~31.64%, which is high enough to be positively unexciting, but the probability of getting, say, 5 or fewer wins on 40 plays is only 4.33%, (with a much lower probability for only 1 win, although there we run into the flaw of thinking rarity of an overspecific event equates to extraordinariness). So Phil is either exaggerating or surprisingly unlucky.

      • apd09 says:

        you are right, but you need to remember the unknown variable in the equation and that is the distribution. Math can tell you exactly what you should expect but it cannot account for the real world results, that is why it is called a statistical probability because it should happen a set number of times but that does not mean it will happen for Phil instead it could be the entire sample size factoring 8 people who went and won multiple times while 64 other people went and never one.

        I look at it like a batting average in baseball, just because someone bats .250, does not mean they are going to get a hit 1 in every 4 times they are at bat. They could go 2-4 one day, then 0-4 the next and now they have a .333 batting average.

        Back to McDonalds, if one person is going and wins 2 out of 4 times, then Phil goes and loses 4 times, McDonalds can still claim .250 winning percentage which would be 1 in 4.

        • apd09 says:

          WOW, sorry for the typo, edit function please: I look at it like a batting average in baseball, just because someone bats .250, does not mean they are going to get a hit 1 in every 4 times they are at bat. They could go 2-4 one day, then 0-4 the next and now they have a .250 batting average.

  13. sp00nix says:

    6 month subscription to Pogo.

  14. pop top says:

    I love this game, but I’m not a big McD’s fan. I’ll just send my husband up to get some fries for lunch, since you get four pieces on the big ones. We already have Park Place. :D

    (Also, was this just written as a shameless plug for your blog?)

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      No, he’s the only staffmember working day (because apparently Columbus Day is sacred in NY) and let’s face it, there’s only so much one man can blog about in a day.

      • pop top says:

        Well yes, but he doesn’t have to write a story just so he can post about his blog.

      • nybiker says:

        I don’t know about it being sacred here in the big apple, but there’s no mail delivery anywhere in the USA, the NYC Strongest had the day off, the banks were all closed, but the stock market was open. Oh, we have a parade too. Alternate side of the street parking rules were suspended [all other rules remained in effect - what Gridlock Sam calls a SAD - Summons Alert Day - as people think they can park without feeding the meters and bang, they get hit with a whopper (sorry, wrong fast-food joint; a Big Mac) of a ticket].
        Wait until the first Sunday in November. Now that day is supposedly sacred and not because it’s the end of daylight saving time. Nope, there’s a bank (think the orange logo one) that wastes their money naming a marathon. That is going to be some day. But the MTA folks have a plan to tick off the runners, since they are doing work on the railroad and IIRC, the trains aren’t going to be running very often. Which means that the runners/walkers are going to have to figure out how to get to the VZB on time. I guess the spectators are also going to have to figure out some stuff too, since even if they just want to go to Penn Station from Long Island, they might have to get up and out of the house by like 3am (I’m guessing). So much for the MTA agreeing that it’s a sacred day. Me? I’m going to enjoy my extra hour of sleep.

    • smashedpotats says:

      Park Place is one of the MOST COMMON pieces.

  15. bsh0544 says:

    A friend of mine won a TV while we were on a school trip. I think that’s the extent of the non-food winnage I’ve seen from these promotions.

  16. RavenWarrior says:

    Pogo subscription and a small smoothie or frappe so far…

  17. KTK1990 says:

    Over the years I got about 10 or so items for free, small drinks, small fries that sort of thing (Got about 12-15 game pieces per visit. 2 on the drinks/fries/burgers. Fed 4 people).

    Always got 3 out of 4 pieces to win, but never the 4th.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      That’s pretty much how it works. The one missing property in each set is the uber rare one you need to win. If you find one of these, you’re in luck:
      Mediterranean
      Vermont
      VIrginia
      Tenessee
      Kentucky
      Ventnor
      Pennsylvania
      Boardwalk
      Short Line RR

  18. andoman says:

    I always had a dumb theory about this, that if you travel around the country eating Mcdonalds at different areas that you’d improve your shots of winning haha.

    • SonarTech52 says:

      I have always thought the same thing… hmm I wonder if there are any websites for this?..
      *Rubs chin*

  19. texabyte says:

    0:46

  20. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I haven’t played in many years, but got like 2 or 3 free food items (usually breakfast) but I doubt I ever used them.

    • NewsMuncher says:

      are you more likely to get breakfast prizes on lunch/dinner items and vice versa, so the prize increases their sales. So a person who wouldn’t normally get breakfast at McD’s tries their breakfast one day because they have a game piece, and then it is the first in a trend?

  21. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    In 2000 the company that prints the tickets was charged with fraud – they were keeping the winners and almost all top winners over a period of years were associated with their company. McDonalds wan’t involved but I’m sure they now keep a closer eye on the situation & play by the book themselves. The 1 in 4 “odds of winning” are not fudged,

  22. osiris73 says:

    I went the day it started and on my Big Mac package I got an Instant Win for a “Free Beef Sandwich” which kinda threw me until I figured out that there must be another instant win for a free chicken sandwich. Other than that, I’m about 30 game pieces in and that’s all I’ve gotten.

  23. crashman2600 says:

    1/6. Won a “large beef sandwich” (excludes Big Macs)

  24. FeralKoala says:

    They seem to have really cut back this year. In 2009 you got game pieces on damn near everything. This year? None on drinks, none on chicken select boxes, etc.

    • JJJJust says:

      There are pieces on medium fountain drinks.

      My local McDonalds is charging $1.00 for a large and $1.29 for a medium. :-(

      • FeralKoala says:

        Ahh, no wonder I’ve never seen them, I never order medium drinks.

        Weren’t they always on the large cups only in the past? I can’t help but suspect this is so they can claim “We’re encouraging people to buy smaller soft drinks” the next time the nanny state comes after them.

        Of course, I always order diet cokes, grrrrr.

    • apd09 says:

      don’t forget about the years where if you ordered a Super Size meal you got extra pieces on the drink and fries.

    • PsiCop says:

      The pieces were on the coffees I’ve gotten.

    • bonzombiekitty says:

      They’re on the medium drinks and there’s four pieces on the large fries. But yet, none on the large drinks. Th mcdonalds I was at yesterday advertised getting two additional chances if you got a large fry. I hadn’t eaten all day so I got a large meal. Large fry had four pieces, none on the large drink, plus two on the chicken nuggets. If I had gotten a medium meal, I’d have had two on the fries, two on the drink, and two on the nuggets. So six pieces either way.

      I got one free breakfast sandwich (excluding a mcgriddle).

  25. chuckreis says:

    I get my coffee there each morning, I am not a huge fan of the food:

    I have 2 medium fry winners sitting around
    20 free prints from snapfish

    Online codes netted me 30 Coke Reward Points (being a degenerate I gambled those away)

  26. Robofish says:

    Mostly free food is what I’ve won. One year I got 5 bucks to best buy, but that was it

  27. MattDeZ says:

    It wasn’t until I pulled up this post that my wife told me “I won a $10 Wal-Mart gift card from that today.” I think she was holding out on me.

  28. samonela says:

    I worked at McDonald’s in high school. One of the employees stole an entire box of french fry boxes (don’t remember how many were in there…maybe 200?). His winnings? Lots of free small drinks and fries.

  29. NettyM says:

    out of my 4 game pieces, I got a bunch of state pieces and a breakfast sandwich. Naturally, I’ll probably not redeem that one.

  30. backinpgh says:

    I always win a few free items when they run this promotion. But I ALWAYS lose the little ticket thing and never get my free stuff.

    • tbax929 says:

      Me too. I don’t think I’ve ever redeemed one of those things. I can’t ever find them by the time I go back to McD’s again.

  31. clarkins says:

    Medium Fries so far this one.
    Way back when I was in High School (83-87) you had to tear the sides off the game pieces and unfold them to get to the stamps. When bored, we would drive around to different McD’s in town and get people we knew working at each to give us game pieces. We’d redeem the food at the next one or sell the pieces at school.
    The odds back then of winning some money prize was one in 10,000. My friend was saving the pieces to get 10,000 to show McD’s he didn’t win. I think he stopped at 2-3000 pieces.

  32. chemmy says:

    I got excited too when 1 in 4 is a winner. DH and I both had pieces on our drinks, fries, sandwiches…. All were game pieces. No winners.

  33. longdvsn says:

    A quick exact binomial test (H0: prob of winning = 1/4 vs H1: prob of winning != 1/4) based on your sample of size 40…
    p=0.00014…reject the null hypothesis under a level alpha=.05 test. There is significant evidence that the probability of winning is not 1/4.

    *assumes all 40 samples are independent – which may not be the case depending on McD’s distribution of game pieces
    *p-value is the probability of results as extreme or more extreme than observed in the sample given the null hypothesis…ie P(1 in 40 | true prob=.25) + P(0 in 40 | true prob=.25)

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I wish I had paid attention in statistics class many years ago.

      /daydreaming about my youth

      • Clumber says:

        Dude…. you need to take some vacation immediately if dreaming about your youth involves stats courses.

        I hate the Monopoly game b/c it invariably gets that evil voice in my head louder when I have forgotten to bring lunch to work with me…. “C’mon, it’s just 3 blocks away. They have Monopoly pieces you know! You can just ride the stationery bike an extra 3 or 4 hours tonight…” SHUT UP VOICE! I can’t recall ever winning anything worthwhile… food prizes for stuff we don’t eat, $ at places we don’t shop, and I know we have never won anything using the game board.

    • Reading Rainbow says:

      I’m fairly positive it’s one of out 4 “customers/containers”. Meaning it’s closer to 1 out of 8. (I don’t know if they take into account that there are 4 pieces on a large fry)

    • GuidedByLemons says:

      “There is significant evidence that the probability of winning is not 1/4.”

      I disagree. Extreme results are much more likely than typical results to be noted and remarked upon. How many thousands of customers might have had 10+ wins out of 40 without bothering to blog about it?

      Spurious statistical anomalies exist in every large dataset if you go looking for them.

  34. Cry Havoc says:

    I used to go to McDonald’s specifically for the Monopoly game also. Then a few years ago I went and they didn’t have any game pieces, even though it was still in full swing.

    They also charged me 30 cents more for my burger than the menu price, and it was a hassle to try to get that 30 cents refunded because according to the manager, “That’s how it is in the system.”

    So I wrote to the store manager and corporate to try to get some game pieces and let them know their system is charging people incorrectly for that item. Never heard a word from either. I was done with Monopoly after that. I’ll still go to McDs if I get a Mac attack, but I won’t go out of my way to eat there for their promotions.

  35. JJJJust says:

    I’m 2 for 8 so far. Both instant wins (fry and a smoothie or frappe or something) were found on hash browns.

  36. sven.kirk says:

    I guess I am the only one winning.
    0:0.
    I am not going to suckered into silly ,wasteful promotions.
    The last promotion I got into was the free soda refills at RaceTrac. And I beat them at that. Work gave me a cup. I only had drinks, other than gas when needed. No snacks, food, or smokes (for the wife). If you buy anything else, they got their cost back and a lot more.

  37. UnicornMaster says:

    I usually got free fries, maybe not every other time, but every other other time…

  38. AngryK9 says:

    All I’ve ever gained from that promotion is weight.

  39. ShruggingGalt says:

    I won $2million dollars so far.

    Except that they refuse to pay out! Their official rules, which were posted on their official website in accordance to the rules posted at the stores, stated that you only needed “Park Place” to win the grand prize.

    After I claimed my prize they changed the rules in violation of federal law and have refused to pay out, claiming “clerical error”.

    I call shenanigans! I want my $1 million prizes! I’ll probably get it after I take delivery of my Harrier from Pepsi.

    /not me really but mostly true

  40. hotcocoa says:

    I remember living in Manhattan 2 years ago and eating there *all* the time with my flatmate…I had scored a bunch of Mickey Ds gift certificates from my Mum (don’t judge) and would get their chix sandwiches just for the game pieces and pass ‘em on to my bottomless pit of a friend who would make sure they wouldn’t go to waste.
    We must have had around 50 game pieces and didn’t win a damn thing but more crappy food. He was happy, I was not. Never again. We didn’t win shyt online either at their little online game. Waste of time.

  41. TheMonkeyKing says:

    One of the past millionaires came from Raleigh. So my chances probably decreased by about a bajillion.

  42. robbyp30 says:

    One visit last week: 2/6 on actual game pieces (medium fry, small smoothie). When I typed in all those codes for the online game, I got 30 Coke Points, which I never redeemed.

  43. SmileyKnight says:

    About 15 years ago I won $50 from when they gave away the board game map thru the newspaper which also had 2 pieces included. Only bad part, I had to wait for a check thru corporate, you would think I could have been paid by the store. My favorite promotion was when the ’84 Olympics was going on and they giving prizes out left and right because it was tied to US performance during the games.

  44. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    **I’ve worked in Advertising – all I can say is: never trust Promotions.

    This story broke Yesterday:
    TORONTO – Smiles may be free at McDonald’s, but the only place where Ryan Doon would be grinning is in the courtroom.

    The 27-year-old IBM consultant said he still feels duped by the multi-billion dollar fast food chain after it wouldn’t compensate him for pointing out a typo on its Monopoly official rules.

    Doon found a “Park Place” game sticker in a McDonald’s meal and thought he won the $1-million jackpot when he checked out the rules online, which stated “Park Place” was all that was needed to win.

    But McDonald’s Canada said that was a typo and players require both “Park Place” and “Boardwalk” game pieces to win the grand prize.

    Other people are backing Doon if he decides to launch a lawsuit after they too peeled “Park Place” stickers and thought they had struck it rich.

    • VinceV222 says:

      Those people must be idiots or trying to scam McD’s. Everyone (forever) has known that you need Park Place AND Boardwalk to win a million. Have to side with the big corporation this time.

  45. Reading Rainbow says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s 1 out of 4 (sets of 2). It’s per customer, not per piece. So then it’s more like 1/8 per piece (assuming they didn’t fudge the number with 4 pieces on a large fry). You’re still on the low end though.

  46. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Oh yes: McDonald’s Canada said only one of its six contest websites had the typo, which was corrected by Thursday afternoon.

  47. qbubbles says:

    $5 WalMart gift card (yay…) and free medium fries.

  48. MaytagRepairman says:

    I stopped playing their Monopoly promotions years ago when McDonald’s execs got pinched for stealing the top prizes and giving them to friends/family.

  49. davidsco says:

    We played it once. From the one order, we did, also, get the free medium fries. My guess is, there’s a lot of those out there because it brings people back, and to order more food. The game has become a waste of time. Was more fun years ago when they would give you game pieces if you asked, instead of requiring you to purchase their large sizes

  50. Ephraim says:

    Excluding the food prizes, the value of a game piece is less than 2c in prizes. And many of those end up in the trash.

  51. diagoro says:

    I used to always play this, but have a hard time eating there anymore. Not sure if I grew out of it, but there’s something sickly addicting to that grease smell as I drive by…..

    I never won a damn thing above fries, etc. I recall always having one space left on every prize, as did all my friends. Made me wonder if anyone actually won. Did they release lists of winners? How easy would it be to just let it slide, though the post above might show otherwise.

    Same thing that Coke (or Pepsi) used to do with their bottle caps. Collect all the letters to form a word…..never won there either!

  52. jiarby says:

    About 25-30 years ago (in my felonious past-life) I worked at a clown-mascoted burger joint when they introduced a game like this using game pieces that came separate from the food item. If you bought a “Big-Whack” then you got a game piece. I do not remember if it was Monopoly or not.

    Anyway, we (I had accomplices) jacked a whole case of these game pieces, which came in a box about 14″x14″x14″ (the original “Game Cube”?). After tearing what seemed like a bazillion of these things we had “won” a hundred-ish small fries, dozens small cheese burgers, an occaisional large sammie (like the famous “Big Whack” and “Royale with Cheese”) and countless small drinks.

    We didn’t win a single “big prize” or anything except for more clown food.

    We mostly trashed the whole pile, since we all got free clown food already… but we did have fun piling into a car (5-6 of us giggling teens) and visiting the cross town rival clown shop and go through the drive thru and ordered 50 small fries. Then pay with a sack full of those tear off coupons! They took them for some reason. We didn’t have the stones to ask for ketchup.

  53. sirjorge says:

    A few years back I went on ebay and bought $100 worth of game pieces. I got about 1500+ unused pieces to the Monopoly game.

    The results?

    Lots of free medium fries, breakfast sandwiches, and drinks. No “REAL” prizes outside of free food. I conclude that NO one really wins, and everyone gets fat.

  54. The Marionette says:

    I’ve never played religiously, but when i have I usually won something petty like a free order fries, burgers, etc. Honestly that’s pretty good since it’ll get you a free meal.

  55. hewhoroams says:

    In the past i’ve acquired a few free things here and there, but never anything beyond that. I try hard not to eat there anymore though, despite it being delicious.

  56. Genuineduck says:

    medium fry and two coupons for a free beef hamburger.

    finally got around to trying the angus burger they offer. Not bad. Still no way in hell I’m paying $4 for one, but for free they’re okay.

  57. wickedpixel says:

    A few years ago when they were giving away $1-off and $5-off at Best Buy (I know, I know) I played by mail (send in a SASE for a free game piece) with a roll of stamps I found on the street (seriously) and made about $80 in Best Buy Bucks.

  58. StaudtCJ says:

    I’ve gotten a total of 8 game pieces, 4 of which provided free food. 3 french fries and 1 breakfast sandwich was my haul.

  59. hikari07 says:

    Inevitably, I get an envelope in the mail from my mom each time they do this with a decent assortment of free food. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t go that often (Perhaps lunch or dinner with my dad once a week and maybe stopping in for a soda about the same amount of time?). Maybe we’re just lucky?

    Also, redeeming them makes me sad, because they won’t let me use my student discount on the other food I order with them. I’m a poor college student, you think I’m not above sending a friend through the line to redeem the free item for me? I understand the whole no combining discounts thing, but seriously. I’m most likely not going to order the food that costs money which is still some lost revenue for them, even if its discounted.

  60. lalaland13 says:

    I got a free Angus wrap, which I guess means I’m actually going to have to eat one of those now. Not sure how I feel about that.

  61. VinceV222 says:

    Three trips in the past week; one Angus wrap & one medium fries.

    What really annoys me is that they aren’t putting them on the large drinks this time. That might have something to do with their $1 drink promotion.

  62. HalOfBorg says:

    I buy pepsi for our pop machine at work. years ago they had a promotion going, game piece on THIS, 2 of them on THAT and so on. Over the summer I went through hundreds of those pieces. There was supposed to be a “1 in 20″ chance of winning – I only won ONE free 20oz drink – and I found that piece in the street.

  63. mexifelio says:

    I’m wondering how many times you used your “let a piece of ice melt on the fries and then go complain to get more free fries” trick to get more game pieces?

  64. Cantras says:

    If we drop monopoly cups or boxes on the floor, we’re supposed to peel the stickers and set them aside for a draw pile for if we run out of pieces before the promotion is supposed to be over (or at least this is what we were told last year. We tend to pull the pieces and keep them).
    I peeled a whole mess of stickers off, I’d say, 15+ filet of fish boxes that fell on the floor. I’d say I got 4-5 instant wins, out of 30+ tickets. And my numbers for stickers peeled off discarded cups or my own personal food fare the same or worse.

    Maybe they mean the 1 in 4 statistic to include internet play, or per “set” of two stickers instead of per game-piece.

    What I feel is a bigger scam than the 1-in-4 thing is the fact that the coupons are only good till mid-november. Some prize, a coupon that you have to use within the next month — or within the next week, if you get it at the end of the promotion.

    TRUE STORY: One time my mom realised after getting to the car that she didn’t have a tip for the grocery bag-carrier guy (and yes, they had a big sign hanging over the end of each register that the baggers worked for tips only, and each row had a tin mostly full of loose change). She apologised, the guy shrugged and said it was cool, and she said “Wait wait I have this though” and gave him a monopoly ticket for a free big mac. He seemed pleased and amused.

  65. SlappyFrog says:

    1 in 40 doesn’t mean if you buy 40 you’re going to win, it means that out of the total game pieces made 2.5% of them are winners. How that 2.5% is distributed is where the winners are.

  66. FacebookAppMaker says:

    Technically, I won a million dollars, but McDonalds won’t honor it, despite me being within their own terms. On their website, they said all i needed was park place. I got park place. They then changed it to park place AND board walk.

    Assholes.

  67. agtwork says:

    A world traveller and friend of mine told me about his mission to win the million bucks from Mcnopoly back in the 90s.

    He said he’d ask the manager for a stack of cups from each McDonalds he ran across as he traveled. From Maine to Arizona, to Florida, to Oregon, he stopped and picked up pieces for the duration of the game.

    He compiled a list of where he was able to track down certain pieces and compare them with how often he won a prize.

    It turns out that certain pieces are only available in certain geographic regions of the country. He could only find some pieces in California, while other pieces to complete the set could only be found in the Mountain time zone. Rare ones like Park Place were only available in Hawaii. While you might be able to find Boardwalk in 49 states, there wouldn’t be a single one in Hawaii to help complete the set.

    He was trying for prizes only, so he ended up giving any free food he got to homeless people.

    Bottom line is that it’s tough to collect all the pieces for the higher end prizes without traveling or trading across time zones.

  68. TehLlama says:

    7/32 – not too shabby.

  69. RandomHookup says:

    I picked up a couple of random unchecked game pieces that people left on there cups and was 1 out of 12 with a free Angus Snack Wrap. Definitely feels like a lower success rate than in the past. If you work close to a McDonalds, you can usually walk by and find enough trashed cups to pay for lunch.

  70. Promethean Sky says:

    My brother once figured out that by using the self-addressed envelope thing to mail in for peices, he would win more in free food than he spent on stamps. Of course, this was about 4 rate hikes ago.

  71. He says:

    If you enter your codes from the pieces online you’ll win much more often. It’s trash like ringtones and screensavers though. I must have won about 30 of the same screensaver a few years ago when I got excited for the contest.

  72. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I don’t usually play those things because I don’t eat at McDonald’s enough to make it worthwhile. A long time ago I did win some small fries, but that was about it. I consider it a fluke.

  73. Justinh6 says:

    I win just by not eating at McDonalds!

    • MacGyver says:

      Indeed, funny how many people are willing to eat their lousy food just because of a silly promotion. You’d think consumer savvy people that frequent this site would realize this and see through this. But I guess not.

  74. Michael the Great says:

    It says 1 in four but two pieces count as 1 try (so the pieces on a medium drink count as one chance to win). So it’s 1 out of 8 individual pieces. This is because there is always only one instant win in the two pieces.

    I’ve actually done preitty well this year and must have won everyone elses food. I’ve gotten a few fried and tons of large beef sandwitches (except for Big Mac).

  75. Stiv says:

    60 Coke Reward Points, and a 3-month subscription for Pogo :-P
    I’d be happier with at least free fries….

  76. El_Fez says:

    I’m 0 for 0 – but then participating would require me to eat at McDonalds – and NO amount of money would entice me to do that. . . .

  77. ChuckECheese says:

    I always forget to check the game piece. I just want to eat.

  78. mikec041 says:

    Back in the day, i went to school with a guy who brought in a bag the size happy meals come in FULL of MickeyD’s game pieces. NOT ONE WINNER in the whole bag.

  79. RogerX says:

    I played once – a big mac large meal that netted me 6 game pieces. I got two St James Places, one Park Place, and three Free Medium Fries. :) Not a bad ratio!

  80. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Unfair! Why are we Canadians being gypped here? We’re told 1 in 6 odds of winning something on the current McNopoly game, and you get 1 in 4? What’s the dillio? Mind you, it’s not like that’s going to affect me–I’m not going to poison myself on McGrease just for a 1 in 6 chance on winning a bit more McGrease.

  81. Mundo says:

    Medium fry and small McFlurry or parfait (ate the former, gave the latter to my sister).

  82. DarkPsion says:

    Let’s see, 12 monopoly pieces and 2 My Coke Rewards 30 point coupons.

    And 30 points will get you a free 20oz bottle of Coke

  83. WhyNotTry says:

    The odds are actually 1/8. The small print reads, “Odds based on Game Pieces (each has 2 Game Stamps).”
    So, unless I am misinterpreting, it sounds like each set of 2 is considered 1 game piece. Kind of cheap if you ask me.

  84. speckthepumpkin says:

    1 medium fry won, out of 16 stamps. And that single win was on the first piece I pulled off.

  85. do-it-myself says:

    12 pieces so far…..nothing won, but still have to play the online game.

  86. sopmodm14 says:

    its the biggest waste of time and money

  87. chatnoir80 says:

    I won an EA Sports game of my choice. PS3 Version of Madden 11 via UPS this past Friday.

  88. KrispyKrink says:

    Last time I played this game was also the last time I ate in a McD’s, the early 1990’s. Won a free small fries and never used it because I was hurling all over the ground after I ate one of their hamburgers. Which are horrifically disgusting and in no way resemble or taste anything like a hamburger.

  89. Boo LaRue says:

    I quit playing this farce of a fast food game a couple of years ago when I got a North Carolina Avenue piece — and it was YELLOW, not green. I sent McDonald’s an email about it and they ignored it (I’d even received the automated “we’ve received your email” response previously). I called SHAM after that.

  90. RogueWarrior65 says:

    I personally would love to see a major expose on how many people actually win big on these types of contests. IMHO, the whole thing is rigged. I’ll bet the winning pieces for say the Northeastern part of the country are distributed to the Southwestern part of the country. Stuff like that.

    I’d also like to know who responds to these work-from-home ads on TV and radio. “We’re interested in top MLM professionals.” Yeah, I’ll bet you are. Multi-level Marketing my a$$.

  91. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    I’ve gotten six pieces so far. One was a free frappe/smoothie, one was a small fry, and one of them got me 30 Coke points online, but that’s it.

  92. almightytora says:

    My friends are giving me all their 30 point Coke Rewards codes.

  93. Buckus says:

    Got some pieces today. 1/4 was a winner. Free Frappe.

  94. Beave says:

    I just saw a commercial during MNF. There’s a disclaimer that it’s based on the fact you get two game pieces. So it’s really 1/8 game pieces wins. Typical exaggeration of the truth.

  95. SOhp101 says:

    With my odds, I’d be better off playing scratchers than getting fat and winning almost nothing.

  96. Snaptastic says:

    When I was a teenager I remember trying this a ton, but I rarely won anything–save a sandwich or fry every now and then. Afterwards is when they started getting stingy with what items actually carried the pieces, which really pissed me off when they “sold out” of items with the pieces and offered the normal packaging.

    Now that I have a Panera Bread within 5 minutes of my house, McD’s couldn’t get me to eat there even if they offered the game bits on the small, cheap crap.

  97. turbo says:

    4/14.

  98. BoredOOMM says:

    1 visit, overcharged for Meal where I could have selected 99 cent drink, Med fries and sandwich for lower cost than price of Meal. Help clueless when I pointed this out. Free ticket for fries in 1 of 8 tickets. At least I did not get Park Place….

  99. Halliday says:

    Won a medium fry on Sun :)

  100. Cactusjack_1999 says:

    I’ve heard that it’s impossible to win any “real” prize if you go to a mcdonalds that’s not a stand alone restaraunt. They get shipped boxes of cups and boxes that are marked specifically for use in Wal-Mart’s or in malls.

    The most you will EVER win eating at one of them is a free piece of food or one of the other lesser instant win prizes.

    So unless ya visit a “stand alone” McDonalds… you are wasting your time and money if you wanna win anything besides an Angus Wrap.

  101. JollyJumjuck says:

    Two years ago, somebody won the instant-win million dollar grand prize ($50K for 20 years) at the same McDonalds where I used to go for breakfast regularly. The winner went in on a lark for breakfast, and won (she is a doctor).

    I did not go in that particular day. Instead, I went into the hospital for an x-ray on my shoulder, which had been hurting severely for the last few weeks. I found out later that day that I had terminal cancer, and I could *really* have used that $50K per year to live out my last few years without having to work three jobs. But I suppose the kind and gentle powers of the universe figured that a doctor who already made lots of money deserved to win more, and I deserved cancer.

    Bottom line: if you’re lucky, you’ll win. If you’re unlucky, you never, ever will. Normally I am not bitter, but when it comes to McDonald’s Monopoly, I am. And I hate lotteries and contests.

  102. sakanagai says:

    2 for 12. Won a medium fry and 30 days of Pogo (most useless “prize” I’ve seen so far).

  103. JonStewartMill says:

    There’s no way to win at McDonald’s Monopoly, since playing would require that I eat McDonald’s ‘food’.

  104. delicatedisarray says:

    My husband and I went Sunday morning. We got peelies on our hasbrowns on and on one of our drinks. We got a free breakfast sandwhich, so we are 1/6.

  105. Farleyboy007 says:

    I’m in the same boat, once in my high school days, my friends and i pooled all our pieces. We were one away in every category, but not one winner. Between like 8 people who went twice a week at least.

  106. Brunette Bookworm says:

    The most I ever won was $5. And hey, the Reds made it to the post-season…unlike, say, the Cubs.

  107. ZakiSea horse says:

    A couple of years ago I ate at McDonald’s almost every day in hopes of winning something in the Monopoly game. Got a lot of free food and Coke points playing the online game which actually got redeemed for several free magazine subscriptions. Not going to play this year since I’m trying to diet. If their grilled chicken sandwich had game pieces on it then maybe but I’m not stuffing my face with Big Macs just to get Monopoly game pieces.

  108. Steven Earhart says:

    2 meals, 2 prizes:

    #1. Free Medium Fries (lame, trashed)
    #2. $10 walmart gift card (winner! I even gave them my email address..)

  109. cvstrat says:

    Years ago I knew a guy who went to BK when they had the star wars promo, where you could scratch off either the light side or the dark side, but only one. I think every piece had a chance to win, but only if you chose right. Well he chose wrong, and the right side revealed a lincoln navigator. Pretty rough for a broke college student to come that close to a free car. He carried it in his wallet for a while to tell the story at parties and whatnot. Was at least neat to see that big prizes did exist.

  110. pot_roast says:

    Bought a large iced tea. Won a medium fries.

    1 for 1 so far.

  111. Donathius says:

    My wife has a friend that won an iPod Touch the other day. We never actually go to McDonalds, so I guess we’re 0/0.

  112. psm321 says:

    I got exactly 4 pieces this morning and exactly one was a winner (medium fries) :)

  113. PhiTauBill says:

    Someone needs to publish the definitive study on how much of a sales increase McD’s sees during McNopoly…

  114. lukesdad says:

    I don’t eat there much — no, not for elitist reasons… Jack in the Box just happens to be closer) — but so far I’m 1 for 1. As in, some unknown person left an instant winner piece on my desk for any breakfast sandwich (except McGriddles, boo!). Score! Went over this morning and got the most expensive non-McGriddle sandwich on the menu (Sausage buscuit with Egg for those keeping score).

  115. dush says:

    If all your game piece gives you is more McDonalds food can you really call that winning?

  116. MsFab says:

    So far I’ve gotten 2 free large beef sandwiches, and I’m 2/3rd of the way for $1000 or a spa certificate…here’s hoping I can complete at least 1 of those.

  117. humbajoe says:

    I’m usually pretty into the McDonalds Monopoly game, even knowing i’m not really going to win anything.

    However when me and my GF stopped at a McDonalds that was plastered in advertising for the game, all they gave us that was Monopoly themed was a cup that told us about how great it is to “PEEL AND WIN!” ….with NOTHING TO PEEL. That’s right – they only give the illusion of participating in the game to attract customers, while not actually participating.

    Sitting this yearly McDonalds binge out I guess…

  118. PalmBayChuck says:

    Well, there was fraud in the game before. See fraud in this article…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald%27s_Monopoly

  119. Ben_Q2 says:

    When I was younger I won $500, but my mom had to sign for it. I was 14 at the time.

  120. jenl1625 says:

    I’d heard a few years back that employees of the company that printed the game pieces were stealing the winning pieces and handing them over to friends and relatives to collect…

  121. paul says:

    I never get any monopoly pieces with my McDonald’s because I don’t eat large enough meals.

  122. Kimbeegrin says:

    I got a free breakfast sandwich and a free beef sandwich. I am also one piece away from being a millionaire, winning 25 grand, or winning the EA Trip. That’s out of about 12 pieces total. I drink A LOT of frappe’s and my family/boyfriend are saving them too. I got at least two duplicates.I ‘ve never tried to play the game in the past.

  123. djshinyo says:

    Zero for zero in ’10…..a couple years ago, however, not so much….

  124. massageon says:

    I’ve gotten 6 game peices so far, only one of which was a winner (free breakfast sandwhich)

  125. Cetan says:

    I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve had 2/3 pieces for nearly every place (one year I had Boardwalk, other year I only had Park Place >.