Have you landed on Park Place and Boardwalk or are you always in jail? National Play Monopoly Day is observed every year on November 19.
Known as one of the most popular board games in the world, the game that was originally based on a board game designed by Elizabeth Magie in 1902.
While Charles Darrow is credited with inventing the famous Parker Brothers board game, a woman should actually be given credit for creating the concept the game is based on.
In a story for Smithsonian Magazine, Mary Pilon, author of a book on the history of Monopoly, says that in 1904 a woman named Lizzie Magie received a patent for a Monopoly-like game she had invented. Her Landlord’s Game consisted of a “square board with nine rectangular spaces on each side,” according to Pilon’s story. The players had to circle around the board, buying properties and railroads and paying rent. There were even two corners with instructions to “Go to Jail” or go to the “Public Park.” Magie intended Landlord’s Game to teach people about “the evils of accruing vast sums of wealth at the expense of others,” writes Pilon.
Though Magie’s game was distributed officially for a while, homemade versions eventually were passed around without lending any credit to her. Darrow presented one of these unofficial versions to the Parker Brothers and, according to Pilon, lied about inventing it.
- The original houses and hotels were made from wooden molding scraps.
- The original Monopoly die-cast tokens were inspired by Darrow’s nieces who recommended metal charms from charm bracelets be used.
- The original game included 10 metal tokens including iron, purse, lantern, race car, thimble, shoe, top hat, battleship, cannon and a rocking horse.
- The Monopoly 80th Anniversary Edition (2015) game features one iconic token from each of its eight decades including the bathtub, locomotive, money bag, cat, cannon, cavalry, and MONOPOLY World Championships trophy.
- Darrow attempted to sell the Monopoly game to Parker Brothers, but was initially rejected for “52 fundamental errors” that included the game’s length, theme and complexity.
- The longest game played upside down lasted 36 hours.
- On record, the longest game of Monopoly ever played lasted 70 straight days.
- More than 1 billion people have played the Monopoly game worldwide.
- The city of London was the first licensed Monopoly game.
- The total amount of money in a standard Monopoly game is $20,580.
- Escape maps, compasses and files were inserted into Monopoly game boards smuggled into POW camps inside Germany during World War II. Real money for escapees was slipped into the packs of Monopoly money.
- In 2014, Monopoly fans globally debated on Facebook which of their favorite “House Rules” Hasbro should add to the classic Monopoly game.
- The “House Rules” added to the classic Monopoly game in 2014 were: Free parking, fast cash, dash for the cash, frozen assets, see the sights and lucky roller.
- In 2014, the Monopoly game allowed players to personalize their own game at home with their own photos.
- Over 5,120,000,000 little green houses have been “constructed” since the MONOPOLY game was first introduced in 1935.
- You have a 64% chance of landing on one of the Railroads each time you go around the board.