9 Reasons You'll Never Win McDonald's Monopoly 

Steve Wright
Updated November 6, 2017 834.8k views 9 items

Each and every year McDonald's rolls out its McDonald's Monopoly game. The promotion always comes with a heavy advertising blitz telling people Monopoly at McDonald's is back and better than ever. As a result, millions of Americans hit the fast food chain hoping to be the lucky winner of the $1 million grand prize.

The question is, though, can you really win the McDonald's Monopoly game? After all, they say that anything that seems too good to be true usually is, and the ability to take home cash, vacations, or a new car simply by eating a Big Mac or a McRib seems way too good to be true. That's why this list looks a little deeper and uncovers that the most famous McDonald's promotion out there is nearly impossible to win.

So, is McDonald's Monopoly a scam? How is it a scam? Are you going to be a millionaire? Read on and find out!
The Boardwalk Piece Is Rarer Than You Can Even Imagine
The Boardwalk Piece Is R... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 9 Reasons You'll Never Win McDonald's Monopoly
Photo: Mark Strozier/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Each of the key pieces to complete a set has insane odds. In 2016, the chances of finding these rare pieces were:

Boardwalk – 1 in 513,591,720
Pennsylvania Avenue – 1 in 102,718,344
Ventnor Avenue – 1 in 102,718,344
Kentucky Avenue – 1 in 102,718,344
Tennessee Avenue – 1 in 102,718,344
Virginia Avenue – 1 in 51,359,172
Vermont Avenue – 1 in 51,359,172
Short Line – 1 in 2,567,95
Mediterranean Avenue – 1 in 114,132

Only one Boardwalk piece was produced. Given that not all are in circulation and that many are thrown away, it is easy to see why the grand prize isn't always claimed.
Park Place Is Next to Worthless
Park Place Is Next to Wo... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 9 Reasons You'll Never Win McDonald's Monopoly
Photo: Philip Taylor PT/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
The trick of the game is found in the Park Place piece. The market is flooded with those pieces and there's a 1 in 11 chance of it being on the side of your cup/fries/sandwich. When a player has Park Place, they only need Boardwalk to win $1,000,000. Thus, a bunch of naive players suddenly think they have a $500,000 game piece when in reality there are so many Park Places out there that the piece has virtually zero value on its own. Players, though, are more and more tempted to chase Boardwalk if they are that close to the grand prize.
There Are So Many Game Pieces
There Are So Many Game P... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 9 Reasons You'll Never Win McDonald's Monopoly
Photo: JeepersMedia/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
The sheer amount of game pieces produced is mind-bending. Between 2003 and 2011, McDonald's produced 4.2 billion game pieces. Laid end to end, these pieces would stretch around the earth 1.5 times. Remember, of all those billions of pieces, there are less than 10 that are Boardwalk...
Casual Players Don't Understand The Ratio of Pieces
Casual Players Don't Und... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 9 Reasons You'll Never Win McDonald's Monopoly
Photo: JeepersMedia/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

This ratio and the way McDonald's plays with its customers is best explained by Business Insider:

"For instance, most people think if McDonald's wants the Brown prize probability to be 1 in 1,000,000, they'll make the probability of drawing Baltic 1 in 1,000 and Mediterranean 1 in 1,000, making the probability of getting both 1 in 1,000,000. Instead, McDonald's was much smarter about it. They make Baltic show up 1 in 10 times and Mediterranean show up 1 in 100,000 times."

Clever, McDonald's. Very clever indeed.