Fans in France of the popular board game Monopoly, have something to look forward to when they open their new game to find real money in the boxes. For the games 80th anniversary celebration, the manufacturers in France have chosen to reward customers with a random surprise. In 80 random sets, customers will find that the traditional fake money in the game has been replaced by actual money.
Of the 80 sets that will contain real money, only one will essentially be the jackpot of all the games. In 69 of the sets, there will be five of each of the 10 euro notes and the 20 euro notes. In 10 of the sets offered, there will be five of the 20 euro notes, there will be two of the 50 euro notes and one of the 100 euro notes. In the final Monopoly game set of the 80, the entire bank will be replaced by real euro notes. This means that the 80th games will have a value of 20,580 euros which converts to approximately $23,000. These 80 sets are spread out amongst 30,000 different game sets. The random sets that potentially contain the real money include the classic, electronic, vintage and junior Monopoly sets.
The switch between the fake Monopoly money with real money in some of the game sets took place last month in what some might describe as a covert mission. In a small northeastern French town, Creutzwald, the fake bills were swapped out for the real euros. Florence Gaillard, the brand manager of the French branch for Hasbro who manufactures Monopoly, said that the money had to be escorted to the site. Patrice Wimmer, a local bailiff, had to be on site for the counting of the bills in a supervisory role. The money that was used to replace the fake bills had to be counted multiple times for accuracy. Wimmer said that she was actually giddy like a child by what was being done.
Once the money was switched out in the different Monopoly sets, they were then shipped out on Monday to stores around the country. These special edition boxes are barely distinguishable from the regular games except for a slight bulge that can be seen in the packaging.
The inspiration for swapping out the money came from a survey that was put out leading up to the anniversary. More than 50 percent of the participants said that they would be interested in finding real money in their Monopoly games. Another 26 percent were hoping to find hotel accommodations in their game. Gaillard said that the idea was to do something unique to honor the 80th year of Monopoly.
CNN asked the parent company, Hasbro, whether or not they would be doing something similar in the United States for the 80th anniversary. No word was given on whether the company is considering the possibility of swapping real money for the fake money in the American version of Monopoly sets to celebrate. Instead the US branch of Hasbro is celebrating the anniversary by offering a vintage style game board that is said to complement the 27 other game boards already available.
By Kimberley Spinney