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Winning the McDonald’s Monopoly Game

Written by Nickel - 2 Comments

Winning the McDonald's Monopoly Game

This is a bit random, but… Our two oldest kids had early morning doctor’s appointments today so my wife and I took them to McDonald’s for breakfast on the way from there to school.

As you may or may not be aware, ’tis the season for the McDonald’s Monopoly game, which is probably their most popular promotion of the year. The game runs through October 22nd and, though we don’t eat there very often and I’ve never won anything of great value, the kids were excited about it.

With that in mind, I though I’d highlight my pal Jim’s guide to on how to win the McDonald’s Monopoly game. Obviously, a lot of this comes down to luck, but there are some tidbits of information that can help you strategize — or at least know which game pieces are worth saving vs. tossing.

In past years, the game has been set up such that one piece in each property set is rare and the others are common. Thus, it’s very easy to almost win — or at least seemingly so. The key, then, is to hang onto those rare pieces if you ever find them.

Unfortunately, McDonald’s is no longer publishing the frequency of the individual pieces. Rather, they’re published the odds of completing each winning combination. But, for a bit of historical perspective, here is the list of rare pieces from years past along with this years prizes for each of the corresponding sets:

  • Mediterranean Avenue ($50 prize, 8,500 prizes)
  • Vermont Avenue ($5000 prize, 20 prizes)
  • Virginia Avenue (Beaches Resort Vacation, 250 prizes)
  • Tennessee Avenue ($10,000, 20 prizes)
  • Kentucky Avenue (Delta Vacations Trip, 20 prizes)
  • Ventnor Avenue ($20,000, 20 prizes)
  • Pennsylvania Avenue (2013 Fiat 500 Sport Hatchback, 20 prizes)
  • Boardwalk ($1,000,000, 2 prizes)
  • Short Line Railroad (EA Sports Fan Trip, 20 prizes)

Note: I did a quick eBay search and confirmed that all of the pieces except the ones listed above are yours for the asking. Thus, it appears that the numbers are similar for 2012.

There are, of course, all kinds of instant-win prizes, but there’s no real strategy involved with that. What we’re talking about here is piecing together the sets to win the bigger (and better!) prizes.

If you do manage to snag one of the rare pieces, then it should be fairly easy to round out your set. One option is to visit McDonald’s again — according to Jim, hashbrowns are the way to go if you’re trying to load up on pieces on the cheap, though you can also get pieces via mail without a purchase.

Another option is to look around online. While buying/selling game pieces isn’t technically allowed, as I noted above, a quick search of eBay turned up a bunch of people selling the more common pieces.

Good luck!

P.S. For health reasons, you might consider a cup of coffee or something similar if you’re trying to pile up the game pieces. :-)

Published on October 1st, 2012 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Consumer

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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2 Responses to “Winning the McDonald’s Monopoly Game”

  1. 1
    BG Says:

    Interesting — would’ve thought they would use the last piece in each Set as the money maker (staying with true Monopoly style). So, for example, Baltic being better (rarer) than Mediterranean…

  2. 2
    Lance @ Money Life and More Says:

    I think that using the last would be more predictable. If that is what most people thing then people will think they have the money maker and keep buying more to get the rest of the set… oh psychology.

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