How's It Feel to Win BIG? A $100k McDonald's Monopoly Winner Tells Us

Michele B. Won $100,000 from McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes in 2008

Michele B. $100,000 McDonald's Monopoly Winner 2008
Michele B. $100,000 McDonald's Monopoly Winner 2008. Image © McDonald's, Used with Permission

When you walk into a McDonald's restaurant, you're usually hoping to leave with a Fillet of Fish or some crispy fries. But Michele B. of Beaumont, Texas received much more from McDonald's in 2008 -- a game code for the McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes that ended up being worth $100,000!

Michele agreed to an interview to share her story and tell us all how it feels to win such an amazing prize.

Hello, Michele! Can you tell us a little bit about your prize: what did you win, and how did you win it? Was it in the collect-and-win game, or online, or an instant win?
Michele: I won $100,000 playing Monopoly @ McDonald's in the online pre-promotional game.

(Note: The pre-promotional game starts before the regular Monopoly sweepstakes, building excitement for the upcoming giveaway.)

Were you actively trying to win McDonald's Monopoly Sweepstakes, or was it a complete coincidence that you won?
I intentionally signed up for the pre-promotional sweepstakes and hoped, like everyone who enters, that I would win. However, it was a complete shock to me that I actually did win.

How did you feel when you realized you won your prize? Who was the first person you told?
I mentioned to my children and to my mother that I had received a call saying I had won a prize, but I didn't know what I had won for 3 or 4 weeks. On the day I received my check, I was with my daughter and granddaughter, so they actually heard first.

Did McDonald's do anything special with you to celebrate/promote the news of your win? What was it like to be a big winner?
McDonalds and their advertisement representatives have been superb since the beginning.

Everyone I've worked with has had genuine enthusiasm and the warmest kindness towards me. They facilitated a trip for me to Chicago for a winners' photo shoot with a tourist view of the city while I was there. They also facilitated a trip for me to Los Angeles for a winners' commercial with a time allowance for a little sight-seeing.

Upon my initial win, things moved at a nice slow pace, allowing me time to wrap my mind around this awesome event. About 6 months after my win is when the trips began and the excitement began to build again, right up to the airing of the commercials.

Right before the commercials debuted, I started receiving calls from my local media, and the representatives stepped up on my behalf to facilitate the ease these interviews with my comfort in mind.

Also, through all of this, the same representative who initially called me to tell me I had won has called many times to check on my and family and we have exchanged very friendly e-mails.

The experience of winning has been absolutely surreal. A dream come true for me.

(Note: Wondering what to do if you win a big prize? Check out my article about how to win a jackpot without losing your shirt.)

How did winning the prize affect your life? Did it allow you to do anything you wouldn't have been able to otherwise?
Winning the prize completely changed the direction of my life. I had been on a tough road as a single parent for over 6 years and I was struggling to catch up on things. The money gave me the opportunity to pay off some debt, replace my car that was literally falling apart, provide my children with some things they needed, and find that place in life where I could just take a deep breath and relax for a while.

Did you enter sweepstakes regularly before you won McDonald's Monopoly game in 2008? Have you won any other big prizes? Are you entering other sweepstakes now?
I have been playing Monopoly at McDonalds for several years but I had never won anything more than small food items. I am playing again this year and have told all my family and friends to play as well. I occasionally enter other sweepstakes also now I know real people really do win.

Can you share any tips with other hopeful winners?
The only tips I can share is to be sure to read the rules and if you get that call from someone saying you won, believe!!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'd like to share a little bit. I entered the contest and when the call came in, I didn't believe it was real. When my daughter took the message and related it to me I told her "Oh great, I signed myself up for spam. Stop answering the phone." I'm so grateful she didn't listen to me.

I'm even more grateful to the representative for being persistent in those first 3 days because it was that very persistence that intrigued me enough to call her back. The rest is now history!

(Read How to Tell if a Prize Win Is Legitimate to find out how to avoid passing up a real win by mistake!)

What a remarkable experience this has all been and I'm so deeply thankful for it all.

Thank you for answering my questions, Michele, and good luck with all of the sweepstakes you enter in the future!

Want to find out how to save money on McDonalds Monopoly Game Pieces? Or what the rare Monopoly game pieces are?

Maybe you'd like to enter some other cash sweepstakes? Or sweepstakes with HUGE prizes?

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