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DOCUMENTARY HACK

McMillions

James Lee Hernandez

McMillions

by James Lee Hernandez

McMillions

James Lee Hernandez

5 min
3 key insights
Visual, audio & text

This six-episode docuseries details a step-by-step account of the FBI’s investigation and exposure of the infamous McDonald’s Monopoly game scam.

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McMillions

by James Lee Hernandez

McMillions

James Lee Hernandez

Overview

The McDonald’s Monopoly game was a 1990s cultural touchstone, as ubiquitous as Harry Potter, Beanie Babies, and 'The Macarena.' Casual fast-food visitors became fanatics as they collected tiny Monopoly replica game-pieces in search of the 1 million dollar grand prize. But little did they know, that between 1989 and 2001, there were absolutely zero legitimate winners of any high-value prizes. Every winner was chosen not by luck or chance but by a variety of co-conspirators seeking to get themselves rich.

This explosive fraud wasn’t uncovered until one bored FBI agent walked by a co-worker's desk and spotted a Post-it note that read: "McDonald’s Monopoly Fraud?" From there, a decade-long conspiracy was unraveled through wire-taps, undercover agents, and a new round of FBI-sanctioned McDonald’s Monopoly. The FBI unmasked the inside man known as 'Uncle Jerry,' who masterminded the theft, his co-conspiring recruiters, and the naïve but culpable individuals who redeemed the stolen tickets for a cut of the reward.

Conducting face-face interviews with nearly every individual involved in the case, James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte provide a thorough account of this conspiracy, and how the FBI was able to track down and hold the guilty parties accountable.

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Favorite Quote

"Nowhere in the game rules does it say, 'I can get a game piece from Uncle Jerry.'"

Mark Devereaux, Assistant US District Attorney

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McMillions

James Lee Hernandez

Watch this documentary on HBO
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