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

Posted By Jim On 07/24/2013 @ 7:15 am In Personal Finance | 9 Comments

Every year we write about how to win McDonald’s Monopoly Game [3], and we always reach the conclusion that the cheapest ways to play and get the most game stamps is by mailing in self-addressed stamped envelopes (SASE) or ordering the cheapest menu item: hashbrowns. So this year we thought we’d have a fun challenge to see which option nets the best prizes and best value for the money.

Last year, Brandon hand wrote 100 self-addressed stamped envelopes (so that’s two hundred envelopes for those of you keeping score at home) and mailed them into the McDonald’s Monopoly game. He documented the entire process in three posts (Part 1 [4], Part 2 [5], Part 3 [6]). It was a fun little experiment, though Brandon couldn’t write for another two weeks, and we thought we’d up the stakes a little bit.

Brandon’s Challenge

This year, Brandon will be mailing in five hundred(!) self-addressed stamped envelopes. That’s a thousand addressed envelopes. That’s $460 on just postage alone. It’s a pretty big time and money investment from us but that’s all part of the fun. We couldn’t have just another hundred, that’s twenty-twelve thinking right there. I’m not sure what we’ll do with the 1000 game pieces, each of which will have two stamps (2000 total), but we’ll chronicle it here.

As you can see, Brandon is quite ecstatic about it…

Jim’s Challenge

I will also be buying two hundred hash browns. That’ll net another 200 game pieces, or 400 stamps. We considered buying 500 hash browns but, honestly, we nixed it on the grounds that it becomes ridiculously wasteful (and kind of gross).

If you’re curious as to what 200 greasy hashbrowns looks like, here ya go:

It smells worse than it looks.

Overall, here’s what we plan to spend and what we plan to receive from our antics:

Brandon

  • 1000 envelopes: $50 (plus tax)
  • Stamps: $460 (plus tax)
  • Dignity: 0
  • Total Cost: $510
  • Total expected amount of game stamps: 2000
  • Cost/game stamp: $.26

Jim

  • 200 hashbrowns: $200 (plus tax)
  • Sense of smell: Gone
  • Total cost: $200
  • Total expected amount of game stamps: 400
  • Cost/game stamp: $.50

While Brandon’s challenge costs much more, he actually has a much lower cost per stamp than me, which kinda evens things out (not really).

This idea started with a discussion we had about how good could the mail in pieces be? There’s no way McDonald’s would mail someone a winning Boardwalk piece and based on last year’s result, we didn’t get a single rare piece (which isn’t itself surprising because the rare pieces are really really rare). With even more mail in stamps (2000!) we hope to get a sniff of something rare!

Brandon’s spending more money, but I’m getting significantly less pieces. We’ll document every stamp we get and calculate a “return on investment” and time. You get the benefit from our ridiculousness.

Who do you think will win the challenge?

Follow both Jim [7] and Brandon [8] on Twitter for more updates.

Here’s part 2 [9]!


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URLs in this post:

[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/mcdonald-monopoly-game-mailin-hash-browns-challenge.html

[3] how to win McDonald’s Monopoly Game: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/how-to-win-mcdonalds-monopoly-game.html

[4] Part 1: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/handwriting-100-letters-for-monopoly-game.html

[5] Part 2: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/journey-handwriting-100-letters-mcdonalds-monopoly-pieces-part-2.html

[6] Part 3: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/journey-handwriting-100-letters-mcdonalds-monopoly-pieces-part-3.html

[7] Jim: https://twitter.com/bargainr

[8] Brandon: https://twitter.com/brandonduncombe

[9] part 2: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/mcd-monopoly-hash-brown-challenge-200-hash-browns-results-part-one.html

Thank you for reading!