McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes: Everything You Need to Know

McDonald's Monopoly: How to Enter, Raise Your Odds of Winning, & More

Image of a McDonald's Sign Announcing
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What You Need to Know about McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes:

McDonald's Monopoly Game is an annual sweepstake that has been running since 1987. It offers big prizes worth up to a million dollars and hundreds of thousands of smaller prizes.

What can you win? Aside from the million-dollar grand prize, the Monopoly Game usually gives away other cash prizes, vehicles, tons of free food prizes, and more.

How Do You Play McDonald's Monopoly Game?

The rules vary from year to year, but the Monopoly Sweepstakes usually has a few different parts to it including:

  • A pre-promotion sweepstake, to build excitement before the Monopoly game starts.
    A collect-and-win game, where you collect rare game pieces for the chance to win big prizes.
  • An instant-win sweepstake, which usually includes food prizes, trips, retailer gift cards, and more.
  • A second-chance online game, where you can enter codes from your game pieces for additional chances to win.

How to Get McDonald's Monopoly Game Pieces:

To play the Monopoly Game (other than the pre-promotion sweepstakes), you'll need game pieces. The most common way to get the game pieces is with the purchase of qualifying McDonald's food (see each year's rules for specifics about which products qualify for each year).

If your primary purpose is to get the most game pieces for your money, check out the Cheapest Ways to Get McDonald's Game Pieces.

If you're worried about the effect that all of that game-piece-carrying food will have on your waistline, read my article on McDonald's Monopoly Game Pieces by Calorie Count.

Other than purchasing McDonald's food, you can also get game pieces by sending in for them by mail (the AMOE).

McDonald's and some of its partners also offer free game pieces from time to time.

It's worthwhile signing up for newsletters and following McDonald's and its partners on social media.

McDonald's has also started integrating social and mobile media into their Monopoly Game. Players can follow McDonald's on Twitter for Monopoly updates (​@McDonalds), play through a Facebook application, and check their codes on the go by texting to see if they've won.​

How NOT to Get McDonald's Monopoly Game Pieces:

While there are a variety of legitimate ways to enter free or for very little cost, there are also some sketchy offers out there to trade or sell game pieces.

The Monopoly rules generally prohibit selling game pieces, so participating in these offers could disqualify you from winning.

But more importantly, these offers are most likely what I call McDonald's Monopoly Game Piece Scams.

Scammers try to trick you into giving up rare game pieces, or paying money for common game pieces, or buying illegitimate copies of rare pieces.

It's best to avoid these offers altogether and rely solely on your own game pieces.

Isn't McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes Just a Big Scam?

Rumors that the McDonald's Monopoly giveaway is a scam have plagued McDonald's since a scandal in 2007, where someone affiliated with the sweepstakes management company stole winning game pieces and passed them on to a relative to claim the prize.

No McDonald's employee was involved with the fraud.

The perpetrator of the crime was sent to jail, and McDonald's tightened security to prevent abuse from happening again.

So no, the Monopoly game is not a scam, and people really do win the huge prizes.

In fact, McDonald's waived the rule that game pieces cannot be transferred with an embezzler donated a million-dollar prize to St. Jude's. They honored the donation, although legally they were not bound to do so, and gave the million-dollar prize to the children's charity.

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