In the best promotional stunt since Willy Wonka stuffed fictional golden tickets inside the wrappers of fictitious (but surely delicious) Wonka Bars, Hasbro is stuffing special edition Monopoly sets with real cash. The childhood daydream of aspiring real-estate overlords hit stores this week in France, where the board game is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
To commemorate the not-all-that-important-really milestone, and surely to gin up business for the already wildly popular board game, the game-maker is rolling out 80 Monopoly sets across France with euros instead of the fake, multicolored cash. Here’s more from Agence France-Presse:
Only one set will land the major jackpot, in which every game note is replaced by real money - for a total windfall of 20,580 euros ($23,268). In addition, 10 sets will contain five real 20-euro notes, two 50-euro notes and one 100-euro note. A lesser prize can be scooped in 69 sets, which will have five 10-euro notes and five 20-euro notes.
Monopoly took security around its giveaway très seriously and went to great lengths not to tipoff customers to which boxes contained cash, according to AFP:
Appropriately for a game where players try to cruelly bankrupt their opponents, Monopoly even roped in a bailiff to count and re-count the real notes … However, they discovered a problem: the sets with the real notes expanded the box ever so slightly, making the packaging out of kilter—a tell-tale sign. As for the weight, there was no discernable difference between the real notes and the fake money.
The difference in packaging is, apparently, negligible—so don’t get your hopes up. Also, if you were thinking of buying up all the sets, good luck—Hasbro is setting the odds high by marking 30,000 boxes of the game with a sticker indicating it could contain real money. Five-hundred thousand Monopoly sets are sold each year in France.