By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
McDonald’s Monopoly is an annual tradition in my household and if you’re a fast food fan like I am, it’s a tasty way to grab some free food, a cash prize or even a car – if you get lucky.
In this promotional competition, where you collect stickers on selected menu items, there are two ways to win – either peel an instant win sticker off packaging or collect property sets as you would in normal Monopoly to win a big prize. There are no guarantees of a prize, but I have a few tricks to share that can boost your chances of winning, including which rare stickers to keep hold of.
MSE Update Tue 25 Apr 11am: This blog’s been hugely popular since I first wrote it when the promotion launched in March, and there have been plenty of winners among you, but now it’s coming to an end and finishes on Tue 2 May. If you have free food stickers, be sure to dig them out as you’ll need to claim your prize by Tue 16 May. If you have won a non-food prize by collecting the property stickers, you have until Fri 2 Jun.
How does it work?
Until Tue 2 May, on selected McDonald’s food and drink cartons you’ll see stickers attached bearing the names of spaces on a classic Monopoly board. It works the same way as a classic Monopoly game – if you collect and complete a set of properties (for example, the dark blue set of Park Lane and Mayfair), you’ll win the prize attached to it (more on that below). You might also find ‘instant win’ stickers to peel too, winning you free food prizes and more.
Not everything you order will get you game stickers, however. You’re guaranteed stickers on medium and large fries and drinks, Chicken Legend and Big Tasty for example, but not on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and McNuggets. Sizes play a part too, with medium-sized items giving you two stickers each, and large items giving you three. See a full list of qualifying items.
Obviously, don’t just buy something because it comes with stickers – especially as it’s mostly the pricier menu options included – but do look for ways to get stickers and not pay more (eg, ditch the Chicken McNugget meal for a Chicken Selects meal and get two/four stickers extra).
In every set of stickers, you’ll receive an online code sticker that gives you the chance to win prizes online (see below). The other one or two stickers will either contain a property sticker or an instant win as mentioned above.
Instant win prizes
As part of the ‘instant wins’, there are over 45,000,000 food and drink prizes, as well as various money-off vouchers, free photobooks and more – millions more than last year.
If you’re a maths geek like me, that’s an average of 880 free food prizes per restaurant per day, or about one food prize winner every two minutes per restaurant. That’s a lot of grub waiting to be won!
Food prizes include free apple pies, burgers, fries, sundaes, ice creams, hash browns and plenty of other McDonald’s grub. If you win a food prize, it’ll tell you straight away by saying ‘winner’ and in most cases a choice between two food options. Simply take it to the counter to claim.
Collect to win prizes
There’s much more than food up for grabs with some huge prizes to be won. You win these by collecting the full set of Monopoly stickers that is attached to the prize. For example, collecting the three green properties (Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street) will win you the prize attached to the green set (which is a Mini Cooper).
There are holidays, game consoles, vouchers, cars and even £100,000 cash to be won by collecting the corresponding property sets.
Tricks to maxing your chances
Now you know how it works – there are a few ways to increase your chances of bagging a prize in this promotion:
WARNING: Don’t throw away these rare or uncommon property stickers
What you might not know is that within each group of properties there is a rare or uncommon sticker, where only a certain number of them are available throughout the country. If you manage to find one of these, you’re on to a winner, as the remaining stickers in the set will be common and much easier to find.
Here’s a list of the stickers to look out for, and the prizes they count towards:
Mayfair – £100,000 cash – 4 available
Bond Street – Mini Cooper – 20 available
Coventry Street – £1,500 holiday voucher – 150 available
Strand – Playstation 4 – 500 available
Marlborough Street – £250 Red Letter Days voucher – 1,200 available
Northumberland Avenue – Wireless speaker – 3,000 available
Euston Road – £30 Boohoo.com voucher – 10,000 available
Liverpool Street Station – Now TV box + pass – 13,000 available
Old Kent Road – McDonald’s medium extra value meal – 1,500,000 available
The rare sticker should have information printed on it telling you how to claim your prize.
Don’t throw away online game stickers like many do – how to boost your chances of winning cash
Every time you buy an item with stickers on, you’ll get one online game sticker, and this is actually one of the best ways to win a cash prize of £5-£100 – so don’t just throw them away. Every minute, there are two cash prizes to be won by whoever enters the code at precisely the right second, called the ‘winning moment’. It is essentially pot luck, but there is a way to increase your chances.
Think about what time you enter these codes online. If you enter at lunchtime, most likely there will be a lot of other people entering at the same time, so there’s more chance of losing out to someone else by a split second. If you enter at a non-peak time (eg, early morning or overnight), you will not have as much competition – and your chances of winning are better. If you’re a winner, it’ll pop up and tell you instantly with details of how to claim.
Womble, womble, womble!
For me, a massive part of the McDonald’s Monopoly game is ‘wombling’ other people’s discarded stickers. People come to McDonald’s during the promotion, eat their food and don’t even touch the stickers to see if they’ve won before discarding their packaging. But you can take advantage if this happens by checking to see if there are any instant wins.
In previous years, I’ve spotted empty cups left all over the place with stickers still attached. I’ve claimed loads of free food just by peeling those off and pocketing them myself – and of course, do my good deed by throwing away that lazy person’s litter for them as well. So everyone’s a winner.
Similarly, some people peel their stickers off searching for instant wins, then abandon them if they didn’t win an instant prize. Double check those stickers for yourself, because they might have left one that you need to complete a property set and win a prize. Don’t forget to take the online game stickers too to check if you’ve won. If you’re new to wombling, see our news story.
Use McDonald’s discount vouchers
The free McDonald’s vouchers you get in newspapers, such as the Metro, and on the back of some bus tickets, could be a great help here. For example, getting a Big Mac and medium fries for £1.99 will get you the same two stickers as if you’d paid full price.
The meals you get on vouchers are usually the ones where you won’t get any stickers on your burger/sandwich, but you can still take part with the fries. That way you’re saving money, getting yourself lunch/dinner and entering the competition to get free food – it’s a win-win.
There’s also been a new scheme introduced this month that gets you endless vouchers for £1.99 Big Mac & fries. Read about how it works in my McDonald’s Hack blog.
Got leftover property stickers? Get a free Now TV pass
If you’ve got spare property stickers as the promotion comes to a close, you can claim a free Now TV pass just by collecting 10 property stickers of any kind (including duplicates).
You can then exchange them on the McDonald’s Monopoly website for a one-month Now TV Entertainment pass, Kids’ pass, Sky Cinema pass or a one-day Sky Sports pass. You can claim up to three different passes per person throughout the promotion, but you’d need 30 stickers total to get three.
It might not be the healthiest free food you can win, but if you’re a comper and a McDonald’s regular anyway, then surely this is just a bit of fun – and if you’re lucky, you might bag a seriously hot prize.