McDonald's Monopoly 2019 - When does it start and tips for boosting your chances of winning

MSE Update, 19 March 2020: McDonald's has announced that it is postponing its McDonald's Monopoly 2020 promotion until later in the year.

An annual tradition for some (including me), McDonald’s Monopoly is a tasty way to win a free bite to eat or – if you’re lucky – something bigger. And it's back for 2019…

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. Though of course, there are no guarantees you’ll win anything.

Obviously, McDonald's food isn't the most nutritious out there, and there were calls this week from MP Tom Watson to ban the Monopoly promo on public health grounds. Yet in Martin's Twitter poll, 70% said it's harmless fun. So if you'll eat there anyway, this is all you need to know about how it works and a few tips to boost your chances of winning.

When does it start?

McDonald's monopoly starts on Wed 20 Mar and will run until Tue 30 Apr.

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. 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 near enough everything this year including carrot stick bags, drinks, burgers and chicken. The sizes don't play a part either, meaning you'll get the same amount of stickers on a medium and a large meal - so you don't have to splash out for more.

In every set of stickers, you’ll receive an online code giving you the chance to win prizes online. The other stickers will either contain a property sticker or an instant win.

‘Instant win’ prizes

This year there are over 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, last year collecting the full set of three green properties (Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street) won you 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?

WARNINGDon’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.

The rare stickers are the same every year. Here's a list of the stickers to look out for:

Dark Blue: Mayfair - £100K

Green: Bond Street - Mini Cooper

Yellow: Coventry Street - £2,000 holiday with LoveHolidays

Red: Strand - PS4 Pro

Orange: Marlborough Street - Urbanears wireless headphones

Pink: Northumberland Avenue - £50 JD sports voucher

Light Blue: Euston Road - £30 Boohoo voucher

Brown: Old Kent Road - Medium extra value meal

Train stations: Liverpool Street Station - A phone of your choice with a one year contract

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 an abundance of McDonald's hacks which will help you get cheaper food. Read about how they work in my 20+ McDonald’s Hacks blog.

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.

Have you ever won anything in McDonald’s Monopoly? I’d love to read your stories in the comments below or on Twitter.