How to Play, What You Can Win, How Many Are Available, and How to Claim It

I’ve never been one for fast food.  It’s not very healthy, and despite it’s cheap nature I can still feed myself for less after a trip to the local grocery store.  But like with everything else, there are always exceptions.  And right now, it’s the fact that Monopoly is back at McDonald's.

It’s actually quite a problem. The other day, even though I knew I had leftovers in my fridge, I purposely went to McDonald's for chicken nuggets and a smoothie. And I ordered the 10 piece instead of the 5, because only the 10 and 20 pc chicken nuggets have play pieces.

But I’m glad that I’m not alone in this bit of monopoly love.  People have been swarming to the fast food restaurant since the game started Sept 27 and will continue to do so until it ends on Oct 24th.  It’s hard not to, just thinking about the possibility of winning a prize.  And most do. About one in every four pieces is for free food.

A free medium fry however is not what most people are playing for, oh no.  It’s something much larger than that which attracts flocks of people.  Like, oh, lets say, a cool million.

How to Play In Store

It’s rather simple.  You just buy food, peel off the playing pieces, and collect them. The restaurant does offer handy-dandy playing boards.  The trick of course, is buying the right type of food as only certain items have playing pieces.  I’m rather disappointed milkshakres aren't included. Pieces are found on:McDonald's items with monopoly piecesCredit:

  • Big Mac (two pieces)
  • Chicken Nuggets (20 pc has four game pieces, the 10 has two)
  • Large Fries (four pieces)
  • Medium Fountain Drinks (two pieces)
  • McCafe Drinks, not including shakes and large ice coffees (two pieces)
  • Filet-o-Fish (two pieces)
  • Hash Browns (two pieces)
  • Egg McMuffin (two pieces)
  • Fruit & Maple Oatmeal (two pieces)

How you win then, is similar to the board game.  You have to collect all of a colored property. Or in the case of railroads, all four trains. Different colors are linked to different prizes, their value increasing as you move clockwise around the board.

And of course, there are instant prizes.  They’re not as grand, but still useful/nice to have.

McDonald’s Monopoly In-Store Prizes

  • That’s right, the grand prize is a million dollars. Paid, of course, over 20 years at $50,000 a year. You need to collect the dark blues: Boardwalk and Park Place.
  • A 2012 Nissan LEAF, complete with an electric charger and standard home installation of it.  You need to collect the greens: Pennsylvania Ave, North Carolina Ave, Pacific Ave. Two winners.
  • A 2012 Nissan Z, a corner hugging sport car. 4 instant winners.
  • $100,000. Not as nice as $1 million, but also more likely to be won.  This is the yellows: Marvin Gardens, Ventnor Ave, Atlantic Ave.  There’ll be six winners.
  • $50,000.  Still quite enough to pay off loans, maybe a little vacation.  Collect the reds for this: Illinois Ave, Indiana Ave, Kentucky Ave.  There’ll be eight winners.
  • $25,000 will be given to five instant winners.
  • A Beaches Resort Luxury included vacation, for two adults and two children. You get to pick between two locations, Jamaica or Turks & Caicos for a 4-day, 3-night stay. Food and activities are included. Orange for sunsets! Collect New York Ave, Tennessee Ave, St. James Place. Only 300 available.
  • $10,000 for 3 instant winners.
  • Two tickets to any championship or championship series game in the US, courtesy of EA Sports. You’ll need all four railroads: Reading, Short, B. & O., Pennsylvania. 8 winners.
  • Trip to London for the 2012 Olympic Games for 4. There are four instant prizes.
  • $5,000 Wal-Mart gift cards, of which there are 12 instant wins.
  • A lifetime of games from EA Sports. 4 instant wins.
  • EA Sports Ultimate Game room, consisting of two video game rockers, two autographed pieces of memorabilia, five EA Sports games, and $2,000 gift card.  10 instant wins. 
  • Trip for four to the 2012 McDonald’s American Games, a high school basketball competition in Chicago. Trip includes airfare, hotel, and VIP passes.  Four instant win prizes.
  • $500 to 750 instant winners.
  • Kinect for Xbox 360 set.  500 instant wins.
  • $200 SpaWish gift certificate.  Think pink and snag: St. Charles Place, States Ave, Virginia Ave. 250 winners.
  • $100 goes to the light blue collector: Connecticut Ave, Vermont Ave, Oriental Ave. 3,000 winners.
  • $50 is brown, consisting of Baltic Ave and Mediterranean Ave. 10,000 winners via collecting pieces and 5,000 winner via instant game pieces.
  • $50 and $10 gas cards. Five hundred of each for an instant win.
  • $5 Wal-Mart gift cards, of which there will be one million instant winners.  
  • Redbox movie rental.  Three million instant wins.
  • My Coke Rewards. 30-point bundles, which will be given to four million instant winners.
  • Snapfish photo bundle, print off 20 4x6 prints for free.  Two and a half million instant wins.
  • Plus a whole bunch of free food options. Which, quite frankly, you’re more likely to use than Coke Reward points.  Thank goodness they’re the most common prize. McDonalds estimates 140 million of them.

Considering your odds for the Snapfish prize are 1 in 225, something I find rather low, the odds are strongly not in your favor for even the $50 dollars for the brown territories. But if you’re really curious, they’re listed as part of the official rules.

How to Play On-Line

2012 Nissan ZCredit: game piece has a code on it. Entering the code on the games website,, does two things.  One, it enters you in a sweepstakes for a Nissan Z.  Two, it gives you one play of the ‘Hit the Hat Game’.  You select a throw for Mr. Moneybags to use to attempt to get a chance card to land in his hat.  If it lands in the hat, you win an instant prize! If it doesn’t, oh well.  You still have at sweepstakes entry.

So don’t forget to play online too, as the prizes aren’t bad. And in the case of gas cards, they’re even better.

McDonald’s Monopoly Online Prizes

  • 2012 Nissan Z, a tight ride with a 332 horsepower engine.  I’m sure it’ll be fun to drive, but it’s only going to one winner.
  • $10,000 will go to one winner.
  • A Beaches Resort Luxury included vacation, for two adults and two children. You get to pick between two locations, Jamaica or Turks & Caicos for a 4-day, 3-night stay. A few dozen of these are being given out.
  • $5,000 will go to seven winners.
  • $1,000 Wal-Mart gift cards, of which a few dozen are being given.
  • $50 will go to a couple thousand winners.
  • $50 dollar gas card. Couple hundred winners.
  • $20 SpaWish gift certificate, accepted at thousands of spas and salons nationwide. Thousands of winners.
  • EA Sport video game. Thousands of winners
  • $10 EA Sport prize.  A hundred thousand winners.
  • Redbox movie rental.  Hundred of thousands of winners.
  • My Coke Rewards. A few dozen 1,000-point bundles and millions of 30-point bundles.
  • Snapfish is giving away hundreds of thousands of 4x6 photo bundles, a thousand 11x14 posters, and hundreds of digital photo books. 

How to Claim Your Prize

Instant win food prizes are used just like coupons at the store, but they expire the 7th of November.  Similarly, Redbox in store prizes must also be claimed by 11/7/2011.  All others must be claimed by November 21, except for Snapfish and EA Sports $10 Prizes whose winners have till December 31st.

Online prizes are claimed through an e-mail process, and must be done through a computer and not a smartphone.  You are instructed through out the process online.

Game piece prize collection varies depending on the prize, though most are claimed through the prize provider’s website.  There are instructions on the winning game piece in this case.  Some involve calling a toll free number, while others involve an online form. 

The particulars of each prize do vary, but can be found in the official rules.  Which don’t actually require you to be fluent in legal-ese, I was happy to see.

But really, with so many cool prizes it’s hard to not go at least once and see if you’re that lucky person who instantly wins $25,000.  And if you don’t, well, at least you have a cheap dinner.