Fries, a pop and Boardwalk

In a utopian world, a good day could be classified as walking into a restaurant and coming out with $5 million in hand. Of course nothing like that could ever happen in the normal world, right? Wrong! Back by popular demand, McDonald’s has reissued their interactive Monopoly game, with $5 million as this year’s jackpot prize during the run from Oct. 3-30.

The original game of Monopoly, created by Hasbro, Inc., is a time-old classic that has not yet faded into the past. The McDonald’s version of the game is starting to become a staple in American society with it’s reappearance year after year throughout the past decade.

The prizes vary each year depending on what is hot on the market, and what the American public wants and desires. This year, the successful Monopoly promotion is giving away more than just free McDonald’s food. Other prizes include cash, a home theater system, a trip for two to Las Vegas, Best Buy Bucks, digital camera prints, ring tones and more.

This year, besides getting instant prize pieces when purchasing select menu items, customers can also play online at When entering the site, one simply enters their game piece access code to unlock great prizes.

Tony Chang, creator of the global Facebook group titled, “I blew all my money on Monopoly pieces at McDonald’s,” plays, as he did in the past, the Monopoly game mainly for the Best Buy Bucks.

“My roommates and I ate three weeks worth of fries just to rake up stamps and Best Buy Bucks,” he said. “I even required friends who came over to bring McDonald’s.”

Along with the accumulation of Best Buy Bucks, Chang’s favorite part of the game is that feeling of somehow thinking that he will win. He doesn’t know anyone that has won a huge prize, but the main mental rush of chance and luck keeps him going.

One question then arises as to why exactly McDonald’s chooses to bring back the game every year. Popular Culture Instructor Ray Schuck feels that the answer lies in the fact that the Monopoly game has become an icon in American culture.

“I’m sure that McDonald’s sees this as something that resonates with many people, and views that as a good reason to bring the game back time and time again,” he said.

And time and time again the public continues to win, while surprisingly becoming more generous with their winnings. The national consumer survey, conducted along with the launch of the 2006 game, found that although thousands of Americans are in debt, they would most likely treat themselves to luxurious comforts with their earnings instead of paying off debts.

The McDonald’s “Winning Big” survey also found interesting results pertaining to generosity. The survey found that individuals age 25 and older would share their winnings with their spouse or significant other, and that individuals age 18-24 would most likely share their earnings with their parents.

Regardless of the received winnings, not everyone will end up with a prize. “This is about individualistic, winner-takes-all competition,” Schuck said. “There are rules, there are obstacles, and there is some luck involved, but someone will end up victorious.”

Although Monopoly is just a game, some individuals are merely obsessed and addicted to it. “It’s na’ve to think that life is so cut-and-dried and that we all start out with the same opportunities and resources,” Schuck said. “Yet, that’s what we are taught from the time we are toddlers. As we grow up believing these things and valuing what is embedded in them, we are attracted to games like Monopoly because it embodies these beliefs and values.”