New six-part documentary claims you had 'no chance of winning' big on McDonald's Monopoly
Over the last two decades, once a year the popularity of McDonald's skyrocketed thanks to a contest inspired by the Hasbro board game Monopoly.
McDonald's Monopoly involved peeling off stickers - which resembled game pieces - found on the packaging of the food giant's menu items. These stickers could be redeemed for prizes such as free food off the McDonald's menu - and in theory lavish winnings such as cars, vacations, and even a $1 million cash prize.
The game was a phenomenal success for the burger joint on both sides of the Atlantic, as people rushed to their nearest McDonald's with hopes of winning big.
Check out the trailer for HBO's new six-part documentary which claims you had 'no chance of winning' big on McDonald's Monopoly:
What these customers were unaware of, though, is that they never had a chance of winning big.
McMillions, a new six-part documentary by HBO, delves into the scam orchestrated by one man who essentially stole $24 million from McDonald's and ultimately the customers who could have otherwise pocketed the winnings.
Says co-director James Lee Hernandez, per Yahoo, "But for the most part of the scam, $25,000 and above, you had no chance of winning.” The series' other co-director, Brian Lazarte is reported as saying:
"No one really had a chance, and I think that's one of the reasons why we’re so captivated, and why so many people are captivated by this story.
"For 12 years, how is it possible that this whole thing was essentially a lie in front of us?"
The series centers around Jerry Jacobson, a security guard for Simon Marketing, which designed and produced the pieces, who made money out of rigging the game.
As explained in McMillions, Jacobson cut out the big cash prizes and placed them in an envelope where he was supposed to take them to various McDonald's stores. But instead, he kept the pieces, sold them and received a cut of the winnings.
According to The New York Times, more than 50 people were convicted as part of the fraudulent scheme.
HBO explains in the synopsis of the eye-opening documentary:
"This documentary series chronicles the stranger-than-fiction story of an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of dollars and building a vast network of co-conspirators across the U.S."
The synopsis continues:
"The series draws on exclusive firsthand accounts and archival footage, featuring: the FBI agents who brought down the gaming scam; McDonald’s corporate executives, who were themselves defrauded; the lawyers who tried the case; and the culprits and prizewinners who profited from the complicated scheme, as well as the individuals who were often unwittingly duped into being a part of the ruse. The series comes from Unrealistic Ideas, the non-scripted production company launched by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips. Directed by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte."
The documentary, which is executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, premiered on Monday on HBO.