• France's news in English

Monopoly hides real money for French buyers

The Local · 2 Feb 2015, 16:24

Published: 02 Feb 2015 16:24 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

There can't be a Monopoly fan in the world who has not dreamed of one day playing a round with real money.

Now, for the 80th anniversary of the game's first appearance in France, manufacturers are providing exactly that -- at least for 80 lucky buyers.

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 ($23,268).

In addition, 10 sets will contain five real €20 notes, two €50 notes and one €100 note.

A lesser prize can be scooped in 69 sets, which will have five €10 notes and five €20 notes.

"We wanted to do something unique," said Florence Gaillard, brand manager at Hasbro France, which rolled out the prize sets from Monday.

"When we asked our French customers, they told us they wanted to find real money in their Monopoly boxes," she added.

The operation to switch the notes was carried out in deadly secret, in the small eastern town of Creutzwald, where the games are packed up before being shipped throughout France.

"First of all, it wasn't easy to get the notes. They had to be escorted discretely," explained Gaillard.

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.

"When they asked me, I was giddy as a child," said the bailiff in question, Patrice Wimmer, an aficionado of the game.

'Anyone can play'

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 is marginal, unless you turn up at the shop with precision scales," said Wimmer.

The board game of Monopoly was created after the Great Depression in the United States and has been tearing families and friends apart ever since.

Fiercely competitive, the object of the game is to buy property around the board of varying quality, then build "houses" and "hotels" on one's property empire, charging opponents rent if they are unfortunate enough to land on your square.

The winner is the last person standing after everyone else is left penniless and destitute.

Story continues below…

Even a short game can last several hours as the eventual winner grinds down opponents note by note until they have nothing left.

The longest game in history lasted 70 straight days, according to the Hasbro website.

"The rules are simple, everyone knows them, anyone can play," said Gaillard.

Hasbro says its money-spinning game is available in 111 countries and in 43 languages.

There are 500,000 sets sold each year in France alone. 

The 80 lucky sets are hidden within 30,000 boxes of different types of game -- classic, junior, electronic and "vintage".

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available