Getty Images/Tim Boyle
Getty Images/Tim Boyle

13 Things You Might Not Know About McDonald's Monopoly

 Getty Images/Tim Boyle
Getty Images/Tim Boyle

It’s that time of year again! Time to make fun of your friends who go to McDonald’s excessively in the month of October because they genuinely believe they will win a million dollars in the Monopoly-themed giveaway. Here are some things you might not know about the promotional tool.

1. The winner of the million dollar prize receives an annual check for $50,000 for 20 years.

2. To become a millionaire, you must collect both Park Place and Boardwalk. The odds of finding Park Place are 1 in 11. But, the odds of acquiring Boardwalk are around 1 in 651 million. So, your chances of getting them both are about 1 in 3.5 billion.

3. The 2010 million dollar winner, Jon Kehoe, managed to beat those odds. He had been jobless for 11 months when he bought a McRib containing the Boardwalk piece with some money from his final unemployment check. Park Place was the piece on his drink.

Getty Images

4. It may not be easy to become a millionaire, but there’s a 25 percent chance of winning an in-store prize like a McFlurry or medium fries.

5. The giveaway has been going on for 27 years now. It started big in 1987, in multiple countries with over $40 million of prizes.

6. In 1995, a clerk at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened an envelope containing the $1 million prize piece.

7. It was revealed in 2001 that a group of eight people had been rigging McDonald’s Monopoly along with the restaurant’s other promotions since at least 1995. None were McDonald’s employees, but one person was the Chief of Security at Simon Marketing, the company that ran the game. By the time the con was discovered, the group had taken over $20 million.

Getty Images

8. McDonald’s Corporation attempted to sue Simon Worldwide for the debacle, but it backfired. The fast food chain ended up having to settle and pay Simon Worldwide $16.6 million.

9. The con artists who rigged the game were the ones who mailed the winning piece to St Jude’s. The hospital said they would return the money, but McDonald’s allowed them to keep it.

10. McDonald’s Monopoly would be illegal without a “no purchase necessary” clause. In 2012, lawyer Alan L. Friel took advantage of this rule by mailing one hundred handwritten letters to McDonald’s, along with self-addressed and stamped envelopes, asking for game pieces. He determined that the cost of stamps were cheaper than the lowest-priced menu item containing game pieces: 99 cent hashbrowns. He did end up receiving ninety-eight of his envelopes back with the pieces.

Getty Images

11. The giveaway has increased McDonald’s sales by 1 to 6 percent in the past.

12. Between 2003 and 2011, there were 4.2 billion game pieces created. Those pieces would cover the circumference of the earth one and a half times.

13. The current spokesperson for McDonald’s Monopoly, LeBron James, probably wouldn’t eat at McDonald’s with you. He recently went on a no sugar, no dairy, and no carb diet.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
quiz
One-Syllable Presidents
iStock
iStock
nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Health
Feeling Down? Lifting Weights Can Lift Your Mood, Too
iStock
iStock

There’s plenty of research that suggests that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression. In some cases of depression, in fact—particularly less-severe ones—scientists have found that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants, which don’t work for everyone and can come with some annoying side effects. Previous studies have largely concentrated on aerobic exercise, like running, but new research shows that weight lifting can be a useful depression treatment, too.

The study in JAMA Psychiatry, led by sports scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland, examined the results of 33 previous clinical trials that analyzed a total of 1877 participants. It found that resistance training—lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push ups, and any other exercises targeted at strengthening muscles rather than increasing heart rate—significantly reduced symptoms of depression.

This held true regardless of how healthy people were overall, how much of the exercises they were assigned to do, or how much stronger they got as a result. While the effect wasn’t as strong in blinded trials—where the assessors don’t know who is in the control group and who isn’t, as is the case in higher-quality studies—it was still notable. According to first author Brett Gordon, these trials showed a medium effect, while others showed a large effect, but both were statistically significant.

The studies in the paper all looked at the effects of these training regimes on people with mild to moderate depression, and the results might not translate to people with severe depression. Unfortunately, many of the studies analyzed didn’t include information on whether or not the patients were taking antidepressants, so the researchers weren’t able to determine what role medications might play in this. However, Gordon tells Mental Floss in an email that “the available evidence supports that [resistance training] may be an effective alternative and/or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms that could be prescribed on its own and/or in conjunction with other depression treatments,” like therapy or medication.

There haven’t been a lot of studies yet comparing whether aerobic exercise or resistance training might be better at alleviating depressive symptoms, and future research might tackle that question. Even if one does turn out to be better than the other, though, it seems that just getting to the gym can make a big difference.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios