By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
McDonald’s Monopoly is back for 2018! An annual tradition for some, it’s a tasty way to win a free bite to eat or – if you’re lucky – something bigger (I’m just gutted I can’t take part this year due to my ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease).
It’s essentially a prize draw, where you collect stickers from selected menu items, and there are two ways to win – either peel an ‘instant win’ sticker straight off the packaging and claim at the counter, or collect property sets as you would in normal Monopoly to win a bigger prize.
There are no guarantees you’ll win anything, of course, but I’ve a few tips to share that can boost your chances of winning. I’ve also compiled a list of which rare stickers you really don’t want to throw in the bin by accident.
How does it work?
On selected McDonald’s food and drink cartons nationwide, you’ll see stickers attached with the names of properties on a classic Monopoly board until Tue 1 May. It works the same way – if you collect and complete 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 which give free food prizes and more.
You’ll get stickers on medium/large fries and drinks as well as the Chicken Legend burger, 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.
Don’t just buy something because it comes with stickers, 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 giving you the chance to win prizes online (see below). The other stickers will either contain a property sticker or an instant win.
‘Instant win’ prizes
There are 50,000,000 ‘instant win’ food and drink prizes – including 11,000,000 apple pies, 5,000,000 cheeseburgers, fries, sundaes, ice creams, hash browns and more. 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.
If you’re a maths geek like me, that’s an average of 1,000 free food prizes per restaurant per day, or about one food prize winner every one and a half minutes per restaurant. That’s a lot of grub waiting to be won.
‘Collect to win’ prizes
It’s not just food, there are other prizes, too. For example, collecting the full set of three green properties (Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street) will win you the prize attached to the green set – a Mini Cooper.
There are holidays, game consoles, vouchers, cars and even £100,000 cash to be won by collecting the corresponding property sets.
How can I increase my chances?
WARNING: Don’t throw away these rare or uncommon property stickers
Within each group of properties there is a rare or uncommon sticker. If you manage to find one of these, you’re on to a winner, as the remaining stickers in the set will be much easier to find.
Unfortunately, in 2018 there are considerably fewer prizes to be won. The number of holidays has reduced from 200 to 20, and games consoles from 500 to 400. These were already rare to begin with, so chances of finding them now are even slimmer.
Here’s a list of the stickers to look out for (and not bin), and the prizes they count towards:
Mayfair – 4 available – part of the dark blue set – £100,000 cash
Bond Street – 20 available – part of the green set (15) or instant win (5) – Mini Cooper
Coventry Street – 20 available – part of the yellow set – Universal Orlando trip for 4
Strand – 500 available – part of the red set (400) or instant win (100) – Xbox One X
Marlborough Street – 1,200 available – part of the orange set (800) or instant win (400) – £250 Red Letter Days voucher
Northumberland Avenue – 3,000 available – part of the pink set (2,000) or instant win (1,000) – Wireless speaker
Euston Road – 14,600 available – part of the blue set (12,000) or instant win (2,600) – £30 Misguided fashion voucher
Liverpool Street Station – 13,000 available – part of the black set (10,000) or instant win (3,000) – Now TV box + pass
Old Kent Road – 1,500,000 available – part of the brown set – McDonald’s medium extra value meal
The rare sticker should have information printed on it telling you how to claim your prize. Some of these top prizes are ‘Instant Wins’ which means you won’t need to collect – but these are only in the 1,000s spread around the country.
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 chuck ’em. Every minute, there are two cash prizes to be won by whoever enters the code at the right second, called the ‘winning moment’.
Think about what time you enter these codes online. If you enter at a non-peak time (eg, early morning or overnight), you’ll not have as much competition as entering at, say, a busy lunch time – so 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.
There are also vouchers and digital food vouchers to be won by entering these codes, so it’s worth a shot.
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 but chuck their wrappers without checking for stickers. 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 with stickers still attached and claimed loads of free food just by peeling those off and pocketing them myself – and of course, do my good deed by recycling or binning that 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 get one. 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 ‘Wombler’ news story.
Do note that wombling is against some companies’ T&Cs. We’ve asked McDonald’s for its stance and it hasn’t got back to us yet. That said, some shops such as Asda have no issue with it, though other supermarkets are less clear.
How to get cheaper food using my favourite, coupons!
Look for free McDonald’s coupons in newspapers, such as the Metro, and on the back of some bus tickets. Getting, for example, a Big Mac and medium fries for £1.99 using a coupon will get you the same two stickers as if you’d paid full price.
The meals you get using coupons don’t usually come with stickers on the 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 a trick 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, you can claim a free Now TV pass just by collecting 10 property stickers of any kind (including duplicates).
You can 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.