After Almost Two Decades, the Corruption Saga of the McDonald’s Monopoly Game Comes to Light
Over the weekend, The Daily Beast published an extensive exposé about a multi-year saga involving the rigging of McDonald's Monopoly giveaway games.
The corruption occurred in the mid & late 1990s, and early 2000s, and at the center of it was the head of security for a Georgia printing company.
The Daily Beast article, written by Jeff Maysh, chronicles how Jerome Jacobson created a network of fake winners who gave him kickbacks in exchange for the winning McDonald's Monopoly prize pieces.
I found the following section of Maysh's article amusing, because I can remember while growing up the frustration my brother and I felt while trying to play the McDonald's Monopoly "game" and never winning more than a Big Mac:
Across America, McDonald’s customers were becoming frustrated by the Monopoly game. “Are McDonald’s employees keeping game cards to themselves?” asked a concerned citizen in a letter to the Atlanta Constitution. “We’re talking money here,” said another player in North Miami, who paid for a classified advert for the game pieces he couldn’t find. Instead of sticking those game pieces to customer’s soft drink cups and french fry packets, Jacobson sent them all to Andrew Glomb, including eight $1 million winners.
In the final third of Maysh's article, he chronicles how those responsible were arrested and convicted of mail fraud charges.
As you would expect, McDonald's, after the August 2001 arrests of Jacobson's crew, made numerous changes to the internal workings of the promotion. Monopoly promotions continue to this day with McDonald's and other retailers, including one promotion that began a few years ago across Texas and New Mexico with United Supermarkets.