A Supersized Conspiracy: How One Man Rigged The McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Won $24 Million

When McDonald’s launched its Monopoly game in 1987, customers flocked to the fast-food chain to collect the board game pieces stuck to soft drinks, french fry containers, and the like. Prizes ranged from free Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and gift cards to Dodge Vipers and Jamaican vacations. The grand prize though was a cool $1 million.

But McDonald’s customers never really had a chance to win. That’s because one man recognized a flaw in the game’s procedures and crafted an elaborate plan to win millions of dollars. Learn the story of how Jerome Jacobson landed the fast food chain in the middle of a $24 million legal battle.

Jerome Jacobson Always Wanted To Be a Cop, But His Dream Was Cut Short

Photo by Gilles Mingasson / Contributor

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1943, Jerome Jacobson had wanted to be a police officer since he was just a kid. His dream became a reality when he was sworn into Florida’s Hollywood Police Department in 1976. But Jacobson’s career was short-lived. In 1980, while on medical leave for an injured wrist, he collapsed with severe, widespread paralysis and was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder.

Jacobson took a leave of absence from the department while his wife, Marsha, took care of him around the clock. But because he was unable to return to his job, the police department fired him. Jacobson seemed like a trustworthy guy with a background in law enforcement.

But after leaving the police force, he went in an entirely different direction that involved a conspiracy.