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McD Monopoly Game: Mail-In vs. Hash Browns Epic Challenge Part 3

This is part three of the McD Monopoly Mail-In vs. Hash Browns Epic Challenge [3] where we collect game pieces from 500 handwritten SASE letters and two hundred hash browns!

Here’s part two [4] – we documented the acquisition of the two hundred hash browns while Brandon finished sending out his letters.

It took awhile but Brandon finally got his letters back and I slowly buy surely peeled and entered all my codes.

So what did we get? Here’s a look at the results thus far:

Brandon’s Challenge

McDonalds Monopoly Game Piece Tracker Update (8/12/13) [5]

Brandon here, guys.

The results so far are pretty interesting. I’ve gone through 900(!) of my 2,000(!!!) pieces so far and have a decent amount of instant-win prizes already, though Jim has a higher “prize-per-piece” count so far. McDonald’s claims “1 in 4 wins!” but what they really mean is 1 in 4 game pieces wins, but each game piece consists of 2 game stamps. So one would think the 1:4 claim would be for each stamp, but it’s actually for each set of two. Jim apparently beat those odds, getting 75 instant-win prizes on 200 game pieces (400 game stamps) for a 37.5% success rate. Me, on the flip side, am right at the 25% clip (actually 25.5% to be exact).

Now let’s step back and recap the arduous process of stamping, waiting, and finally opening and peeling these pieces.

It’s been a long, long couple weeks for me.

I finally wrapped up all stamping about a week and a half ago and had been sitting impatiently to get the pieces back. Let’s walk through my mental degradation:

July 29th, 2013

I’m clearly losing it by this point, but I’m on the final stretch of stamping.

July 31st, 2013

With all the stamping completed, here’s the bounty.

Time to send these bad boys.

Relief, excitement, joy, and yea, a little confidence.

August 10th, 2013

10 DAYS OF WAITING. But hey, who’s bitter? Not this guy.

I received 372 letters at first (1,488 pieces!), with more coming the following days.

If you’re unfamiliar with what McD sends back, here’s what’s inside a SASE: 1 McD Monopoly leaflet with the rules and 2 game pieces, for a total of 4 game stamps. Thumbs up.

Finally, here’s the peeling process. I decided to be a little more organized this year and had separate baggies for every Monopoly street piece and instant-win prize.

Whew. As of now, I haven’t won anything noteworthy, nor have I input many codes online (I have until 8/22/13 to input codes). Over the past couple days I’ve received more letters, bringing my total to 494 letters, which equates to 1,976 pieces (Ahhh!). With only 908 pieces counted I have a long way to go. Stay tuned!

Jim’s Challenge

A lot of greasy disgustingness. That’s now a word. Here’s the full stack of hash browns.

I tossed the hash browns and stacked the sleeves.

Then I started removing the pieces:

I had to get rubber gloves to do the job and I wanted the shells out of the house so quickly I never even took a picture of the gloves (outside of them sitting there besides the working pile). 🙂

As for entering codes, I put all the pieces in little plastic bags. I took the pieces out five at a time (ten codes), entered them, and then split them up into food prizes and spent codes. The instant win prizes are all going to my lovely wife’s friends.

Here’s the lineup of baggies:

Total Prize Value

McDonalds Monopoly Prize Value Update (8/12/13) [6] | Create infographics [7]

Let’s talk money. As you can see, neither one of us is bringing in that much value overall.

Jim spent $200 on hash browns and managed to get around $170 back in value from prizes. I spent about $1.02 per letter sent, which works out to about $277 for the 908 pieces (272 letters) I’ve counted so far. I’ve made about $208 in value so I’m still in the red as well by $64. We’ll see if this improves.

So far Jim’s made about $0.42 per game piece (having spent $0.50/piece) and I’m at $.023 (spent $0.25), so technically I’m “winning” in overall value per piece so far (Yay). We’ll keep everyone posted on the final results, and if we win anything cool, you’ll be the first to know 🙂

Stay tuned for part 4!


In case you’re wondering if we could’ve won the million bucks, it’s impossible this way. According to the rules, the Boardwalk piece is on a Big Mac: “… the approximate odds of collecting the Winning Combination (Park Place and Boardwalk) found on Big Mac are 1 in 37,955,000.”

In other words, and this has been reported by past winners, the only way to win the top prize is by purchasing a Big Mac. Winners have gotten both Park Place and Boardwalk on the same pair of peels. If you aren’t buying Big Macs, you can’t win the annuity.