First, of all, we have to be honest: we didn’t even know McDonalds was still running their Monopoly game. We admit this was a big thing for us back in the late 80s, when we would store our coveted game pieces in the glove compartment of our gray Toyota Corolla, hoping for some cash or at least a free orange soda.
Many years later, the game hasn’t changed much, but we were surprised at the odd cult following it now has, and with the help of the internet — chat rooms, Craigslist, secret stagey blogs — it feels like an entirely different phenomenon.
Earlier this week one of the loyal players in our office (if not THE loyal player in our office) proclaimed that he needed Boardwalk and Short Line to win a nice chunk of change. Immediately Coworker #2 got on Craigslist and found several other people all over the Bay Area also looking for Boardwalk and Short Line, not to mention Golden Avenue, Mediterranean Avenue, Waterworks and all of the other rare 2008 game pieces. Next came chatroom checking and then Craigslist posts in other cities—“Some guy in Detroit says he’s got Golden Avenue”–and it didn’t take long to realize this was not the game we used to play back in the 80s.
One thing remains the same: the odds haven’t changed. In fact, a blogger back in 2007 broke it down for everyone pretty clear, explaining that there are only 3 (yup, 3) Boardwalk pieces released during each game period and as Coworker #2 put it, “Some old lady in Wichita is going to get it and throw it away with the wrapper because she doesn’t even know what Boardwalk means,” meaning the odds of winning the million dollar prize is slim to none.
Then there was that nasty scandal that nearly ended the game entirely when it was found out that the company that was outsourced to run the game and print the game pieces had some shady employees who rigged the system and it made sure all of the rare pieces ended up in their hands.
But the odds don’t seem to matter and neither does the past scandal, folks really seem to think that with a tool as powerful as the internet behind them they actually have a chance. Can you blame people for wanting the impossible these days?
[Photo via Bombardier/Flickr]