Thursday, October 30, 2008

McMonopoly: "I'm Losin' It"

For those of you without your McCalendars handy, we are in Week 3 of the 2008 McDonald's Monopoly game. (If you don't know what this is about, you can educate yourself on the topic on your own time using the greatest reference known to man,, then come back here and read the rest.)

For many of us Die-Hard monopoly fans (I use the 1st person plural, here) this is an exciting annual event where a classic American board game involving fake money and dumb luck is paired with the international icon of American sloth and gluttony. And big macs.

The biggest difference in McOpoly this year (that's mine, by the way, I just made it up but I am registering it as soon as I finish typing this) is that you can not only play it with the old-school paper tear-off "game pieces" tabby-things, you can also play online! Well, that and the grand prize is reduced from $5 million to a $1 million annuity paid out over 20 years, which, using the present value of an annuity formula:

PVoa = PMT [(1 - (1 / (1 + i)n)) / i]

We can determine to be, approximately, something much less than $1 million dollars. (Do your own math, I'm busy.)

All that being said, I am on my 24th consecutive day of eating only McDonald's food -but not just any food- you see, they've tied the tear-off paper pieces ONLY to what he wants you to buy, Big Mac, Large Fries, Large Coke, that kind of stuff. "He" being the clown, of course.

At any rate, I did a little searching to see why I haven't won yet, and I learned this bit of interesting knowledge: my odds of winning are actually “approximately 1 in 184,698,474,” To give that any sort of comparison, the oft-quoted odds of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 244,000. So, I am actually 75 and a half times MORE likely to get struck by lightning than to win the million dollar McOpoly® prize.

You see, the little paper bits are rigged. There's nothing random about it. They're all distributed "randomly" except for 1 piece of each set, the most famous being Boardwalk, of which there are 3. In the world. And don't fool yourself by thinking, Well, I can still win the online prize. That's rigged, too!

The same properties you can't win in "Real Life," namely the last property in each set listed alphabetically and Boardwalk, you can't win online. The code you put in on each paper bit to roll the virtual dice determines where you can land. The Clown has successfully taken all of the fun out of the fake money and dumb luck game that so many Americans have cherished.

In summary, with the 2008 McOpoly® Game, the only Real Winners are the people that did not realize the Game was happening, Collected no game pieces, did not pass Go, and did not endure the ultimate price of contest entry- 1 month of eating reheated burgers and greasy fries.
--Shawn Butler

Oh, and the attribution for the awesome McSticker above is that superhero of the blogosphere, Steve Sneeds. The equally awesome McJoker image is from a post on


Wendi said...

Shawn, I Love your thoughts. You really had me laughing at your in depth McOpoly reviews. It's good to find your blog, I just was talking to Leslie when I found this and she said to pass the Hello. Take care!

Ginny said...


Ms. Lily said...

Good to know!


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