It's Monopoly season at McDonald's again, one of the absolute best times of the year, but the long odds will have you questioning your choice to upsize that combo. The game is simple enough. When you purchase certain items on the menu, the packaging will come with little collectable pull tabs that will either have a Monopoly property or an instant prize on them. If you get all of a single color's properties—the same benchmark for buying hotels in the game—you win a specific prize. It's usually a car, or money, or burgers for a year. That kind of stuff. The game pieces are weighted so that some properties are more common than others. You can always find a New York Avenue, but never a Tennessee Avenue.
Of course, you can win the biggest prize by collecting Boardwalk and Park Place: $1 million.
I cannot stress how much I love the McDonald's Monopoly. It combines two of my favorite things: hopeless gambling and burgers. Winning a free burger or an apple pie is easy enough, but when you actually look at the probability of winning Monopoly's biggest prize, as Business Insider's Walter Hickey did, you realize the odds are just shy of winning the actual lottery:
- The odds of winning Powerball: 1 in 175 million.
- The odds of winning Mega Millions: 1 in 176 million.
- The odds of finding a Boardwalk: 1 in 600 million.
That number doesn't even include the odds of finding a Park Place. When you factor in those numbers, your chances of winning $1 million from McDonald's Monopoly surges to 1 in 3 billion.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.