Monopoly is, without question, the most popular board game in history not named chess. (Yes, I know that’s the world’s largest caveat, but I don’t care.) According to Guinness, over 500 million people have played the Games Magazine Hall of Famer. As a result of its popularity, it’s spawned some real weird spin-offs.
Take Monopoly, the game show, for example: on the heels of the game show Scrabble (itself only a minor success, at best), Monopoly was a 12-week operation in 1990 to go along with the Super Jeopardy! tournament. Let’s just say that w
hile Jeopardy! lasted (although not in its Super form), Monopoly didn’t. Read the Wikipedia article, ’cause the game’s rules were nothing like Monopoly at all, to the point where they can’t be explained in this post. And if that isn’t weird enough, in 2008, Ridley Scott (of Blade Runner, Numb3rs, and Apple “1984” ad fame) signed on to direct a film based on Monopoly, as part of a contract Hasbro has with Universal Pictures to make films of their products. (Oy.)
Four more bits of Monopoly knowledge after the jump!
During World War II in England, Monopoly manufacturers lacked materials for dice, and instead included a spinner.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, the British Secret Service commissioned Monopoly games that would be sent to British prisoners of war, which secretly included maps, other forms of intelligence, and real money.
- The bank in Monopoly is, by definition, infinite; emergency money can be either made or printed out from Monopoly’s website in case of a cash shortage.
- Since the Monopoly World Championships went truly international in 1975 (with Irishman John Mair winning), there has not been a single American to take the title home.