Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are making a movie about the McDonald's Monopoly scam

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are making a movie about the McDonald's Monopoly scam

Nobody could ever have suspected that a McDonald's promotional contest would ever form the epicentre of a vast conspiracy; the world's favourite fast-food restaurant seemed much too wholesome for that. Yet in 2001 the police arrested Jerome Jacobson, the mastermind of a sprawling crime ring, for allegedly defrauding innocent Americans of around $24 million worth of winnings via the McDonald's Monopoly competition.

Simply put, the competition involved people eating at McDonald's outlets in the hope of picking up special tickets, which could be exchanged for money and prizes: including extremely rare 'Instant Win' tickets worth a million dollars apiece. The Monopoly game inspired countless felonies in its heyday, inspiring armed robberies on restaurants, hold ups, and thefts.

Ex-cop Jacobson was the head of security at Simon Marketing, the firm responsible for producing the rare and lucrative winning pieces, and was trusted to keep them from falling into the wrong hands - even keeping them in special pouches and sealed vaults to ensure their safety.

The McDonalds logo. Credit: Getty

Neither McDonald's nor the company he worked for knew that he was secretly stealing the tickets themselves and passing them on to a network of insiders, who would move around the country in order to claim the winning tickets without looking suspicious. Jacobson eluded captured for more than 12 years, until a lengthy FBI investigation finally busted him.

At the time of his fraud conviction, a McDonald's spokesperson stated: "The goal was to catch these guys red-handed, and that’s what we did ...  We hope Americans will see that we were innocent victims along with our customers, and we got scammed by a sophisticated web of crooks." The FBI claimed: "[The arrest] required the utilisation of some of the most sophisticated and innovative investigative techniques available and the assistance of FBI personnel in dozens of cities across the country."

Now it has emerged that Hollywood executives want to turn the caper into a huge blockbuster, with actors (and close friends) Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on board to star in the silver screen adaptation of the white collar crime story.

Matt Damon is allegedly going to star as Jerome Jacobson, while Affleck is going to director’s chair. Fox was the studio who won the rights to the movie, beating Universal, Warner Bros, and Netflix. As for the script, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, screenwriters of the R-rated superhero comedy film Deadpool, are apparently set to provide a script.

In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, co-conspirator Andrew Glomb stated: "I’m not one of those people who are mad at [the FBI]. It was a game, and I lost. I hate to say it but I’d probably do it again for the same reason,” Glomb said, rakishly. “Every time I talk to Jacobson, I always tease him, I say, ‘You got any tickets?'" Well, Glomb and Jacobson might be penniless now, but hey: at least they'll get to see themselves on the big screen. Possibly from jail.