Looking for some interesting facts about Monopoly? Want to understand a little more about the history of the world’s most famous board game? There are certainly some unusual things to learn.
Monopoly’s so popular that it has been played under all kinds of odd conditions. Plus, it’s been around for a while, so there are plenty of good stories linked to the game.
So, arm yourself with these Monopoly facts for kids and adults alike, and the next time you play you’ll be able to keep the whole group entertained with these fascinating tidbits.
Facts about Monopoly’s origin
1. Monopoly was invented by a woman named Elizabeth Magie
The very first edition of the game that would later become Monopoly was invented at the very start of the 20th Century by Elizabeth Magie. It was called The Landlord’s Game and became mildly popular, but it wasn’t until Charles Darrow brought the game to Parker Brothers that it became Monopoly and grew in popularity.
While Magie was initially pleased, she later realized her idea had essentially been stolen. Meanwhile, Hasbro’s official line is that Darrow invented Monopoly in 1935, around 30 years after Magie’s game was first played.
Suggested read: The Truth About Who Invented Monopoly
2. Monopoly took its name from the monopolies in the game
The original version of The Landlord’s Game was passed around friends for many years, often played with unofficial boards and no written rules. The name became forgotten or irrelevant, and eventually, it was broadly known as ‘the monopoly game’ because you played the game to build a monopoly.
When Darrow wrote up the rules and took the game to Parker Brothers, the name stuck. And it’s become the most iconic board game name in the world.
Suggested read: A Complete Timeline of Monopoly History
3. Mr. Monopoly was modeled after JP Morgan (the man, not the bank)
When the character of Mr. Monopoly was first created, he wasn’t given a name but his appearance was modeled on J.P. Morgan; the man responsible for one of the largest banks in the world. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that he became Rich Uncle Pennybags, and then later Hasbro officially named him Mr. Monopoly.
Suggested read: 13 Facts about Mr. Monopoly
Facts about the longest games of Monopoly
4. The longest ever game of Monopoly lasted for 70 days
A lot of people feel that games of Monopoly last too long. Usually, that’s because they aren’t playing with the official rules – you’d be surprised how much time can be added on with a couple of very common house rules, such as any taxes going to Free Parking where they can be won back, or not auctioning properties that are landed on and not bought.
However, 70 days feels a little excessive, but according to Hasbro’s own stats, that’s how long the longest ever game lasted – a total of 1,680 hours. It’s not an official world record but if the game-maker says it, then we can’t really doubt it.
Suggested read: 9 Ways to Play Monopoly Faster
5. The longest game of Monopoly underwater lasted 50 days
A game of Monopoly held underwater in 1989 lasted for 50 days, although it was played by around 1,200 people so whether it counts as one single game is up for debate. All of the playing pieces were weighed down, while the cards were printed on plastic to protect them.
One of the players said that the game didn’t get boring despite running for so long because the novelty of playing underwater kept it interesting – even just watching the dice slowly tumble in the water tank.
In case you’re wondering – no, they didn’t hold their breath, the players used oxygen tanks while they were submerged.
The game raised over $60,000 for charity.
6. The longest game of Monopoly in a bathtub lasted 99 hours
There’s not a huge amount of detail on this one, but it is a record that Hasbro and the official Monopoly Facebook account have promoted. The longest game in a bathtub lasted 99 hours, so you’d hope it was a good-sized tub, otherwise, that’s some cramp.
And how wrinkled would your fingers be if it had water in it at the time?
7. There are records for the longest game of Monopoly in a treehouse (286 hours), underground (100 hours), and played upside down (36 hours)
According to an exhibition that was held at the National Museum of Play, there are various other records for playing Monopoly in usual circumstances, including almost 300 hours spent playing the game in a treehouse, or a day and a half upside down.
I know which one of these I’d prefer – give me the classic treehouse any day! Surely you’d make some rash moves upside down with all that blood rushing to your head?
Facts about Monopoly versions
8. There are thousands of versions of Monopoly – no one knows how many
One of the reasons Monopoly has endured so long is because it’s a perfectly balanced board game. But another factor is just how many different versions there are.
If you have any kind of hobby at all, there’s likely to be a related Monopoly version, whether it’s one where the rules are changed or just a re-skin of the classic game. More are being released all the time, so it’s hard to keep up. The Monopoly wiki lists at least 1,100 right now but we know there are more – read fact 12.
9. Monopoly is printed in 47 languages
Monopoly’s popularity is not just local to North America and Europe. It’s a truly global game, and at the last count has been printed in 47 different languages and officially sold in 114 countries, which is staggering.
No other licensed board game has that kind of impact, while it’s probably only chess that can rival it as a game played around the world by so many different people.
10. The most expensive version of Monopoly cost over $2,000,000 to make
An 18-karat gold version of Monopoly, including ruby- and sapphire-embedded houses and hotels, was created by jeweler Sidney Mobell in San Francisco in 1988 and was estimated to be worth around $2 million at the time. The dice even feature full-cut diamonds for spots. The game still exists in a private collection and has been displayed on Wall Street.
11. The largest known collection of Monopoly boards is 3,300
Neil Scallan is a serious Monopoly collector. You’ll be spoiled for choice if you visit his home on game night. This British Monopoly enthusiast has over 3,300 different versions of Monopoly in his collection, and it’s constantly growing.
He was interviewed back in 2018 by various media when his collection was uncovered and since then has documented new additions on his Facebook page.
12. The biggest Monopoly board ever played on measured almost 9,700 square feet
The largest-ever version of the Monopoly gameboard was built in the Netherlands in 2016. It measured in at 9,689.97 square feet and has oversized die, tokens, and houses as well. The board was put together with support from Hasbro by students at Wageningen University and made it into the Guinness World Records.
Suggested read: 7 Incredible Monopoly World Records
Facts about Monopoly tokens
13. The original Monopoly tokens were inspired by a charm bracelet
The Monopoly tokens are iconic. If you ever just say “top hat” and “Scottie dog” then instantly someone will know you are talking about the board game.
When Charles Darrow first invented the official Monopoly game, he intended for people to use random household objects as tokens. It was his niece who suggested including charms from her bracelet instead, and so the eclectic playing pieces took their place in history.
Suggested read: 7 Interesting Facts about the Monopoly Dog
14. There have been 19 different tokens used in the main version of Monopoly
There are currently eight official playing tokens in the Classic Monopoly game, but did you know the lineup has changed frequently since the game was first invented?
In total there have been 19 official tokens used in the main Monopoly game. There have been hundreds more created for different variants, but with the classic game, it’s just those 19. The dog, battleship, race car, and top hat are the only pieces to have survived since the game’s inception.
Suggested read: Monopoly Tokens from Oldest to Newest
15. Tokens from the 2007 version of Monopoly were flown into space
In 2007, two sets of tokens from the Monopoly: Here and Now edition were actually flown into space by NASA, one of the companies represented in the game. When the tokens came back to earth, one set was returned to Hasbro to be exhibited while the other was distributed between other major companies from that version of the game. No doubt they’re worth a pretty penny too.
Facts about Monopoly and money
16. Monopoly is estimated to have made around $1.4 billion in its time
We’re talking real money here to be clear, not Monopoly money. According to official figures, the game has sold 275 million copies in its 80-year history.
While we can’t then pinpoint an exact sales figure, the average probably works out at around $5 a board, as for many years it would have been sold for below this amount. Which puts the sales almost at $1.5 billion – pretty impressive for a family board game.
17. Monopoly was used to smuggle money during World War II
During World War II, Monopoly was used to help smuggle money and escape tools to Allied prisoners in Germany. Anyone captured was protected by the Geneva Convention, which allowed charities to distribute care packages to prisoners.
Included in the allowed list were “games and pastimes” and so Monopoly board games were given, but with real money hidden underneath the Monopoly money, and compasses and files swapped for the tokens. Clever.
This clip from ‘Under The Boardwalk’ explains more…
18. Versions of Monopoly in France contained real money
In 2015 when Monopoly was celebrating its 80th birthday, Hasbro in France decided to reward a lucky few by including real money in some versions of the game. It was a huge operation to do it without anyone knowing, with 80 special sets altered. Only one had every Monopoly dollar replaced by a Euro though – 79 others had lesser amounts, but still a nice little bonus!
Suggested read: How to Play Monopoly with Real Money
19. More Monopoly money is printed each year than real US dollars
There’s a little debate around some of the statistics on this one, but what we do know is that around $30 billion worth of Monopoly money is printed each year.
Some sources claim that only around $1 billion of real cash is printed each year in the US. But according to the US treasury, it’s actually $560 million per day, which puts it at around the $200 billion mark.
But, since 95% of cash printed is replacing old money, that’s still only around $10 billion a year in new US dollars, which is below the new $30 billion of Monopoly money. So the fact stands!
20. Parker Brothers once sent $1 million in Monopoly money to a game via armored car
Back in 1961, a marathon Monopoly game was underway and into its fifth day. By this point, the four players had teamed up to create a 2 vs 2 scenario, and as such the game was showing no signs of ending. They even had the local radio station covering it.
And then the bank ran out of money. However, Parker Brothers heard about the game and refused to let that happen, so they flew $1 million in Monopoly money to Pittsburgh where the game was taking place, where it was then transported to the players by armored car.
We think this was probably a one-off. Don’t expect Hasbro to repeat that now.
Suggested read: What Happens When You Run Out of Money in Monopoly
Facts about playing Monopoly
21. November 19th is National Play Monopoly Day
A more recent addition to Monopoly’s history, but sometime in the 2000s a National Day was created to celebrate Monopoly. If you ever needed another excuse to play, make sure you break it out on November 19th. Thousands around the world will be celebrating on the same day too.
22. Hasbro once created a CheatBot to let players report cheating friends
In 2018, Hasbro decided to have a little fun with Facebook Messenger, setting up a CheatBot for a month where players could report their cheating friends. The bot would then reply with a punishment for the player, such as going to jail or having to pay an extra fine.
It resulted in the creation of Monopoly: Cheater’s Edition, so maybe Hasbro softened its stance on cheating after all?
Suggested read: Monopoly Cheaters Edition Rules
23. It’s possible to win a game of Monopoly in 13 seconds
You would need the biggest amount of luck to do so, but you can win a game of Monopoly inside just 13 seconds. It’s only possible with a two-player game and you need nine perfect dice rolls in a row, as well as the perfect shuffled order of Community Chest cards. The result would be owning houses on Park Place and Boardwalk, and your opponent being bankrupt within their second turn.
24. The British Royal Family are banned from playing Monopoly
A lot of households have probably banned Monopoly over the years for causing arguments, but did you know that one of those was Buckingham Palace?
According to the Duke of York, who made the comment when presented with a version of the game as a gift, the Queen has banned the British Royal Family from playing it because it causes too many arguments.
However, in a 2021 interview, Prince William revealed that he and Kate enjoy playing Monopoly with their children at home.
And we thought it was Harry who was the wild one!
Suggested read: 6 Places Where Monopoly Has Been Banned
Miscellaneous Monopoly Facts
25. Monopoly is the subject of a documentary
Monopoly is the subject of its own documentary, entitled ‘Under the Boardwalk’. Released originally in 2011, the documentary looks at the history and impact of the board game and is narrated by Zachary Levi, who voiced Flynn Rider in Disney’s Tangled and also played the role of Shazam in the DC movie of the same name.
26. A Monopoly movie is in the works
Another Monopoly movie is also currently under development, although this will be a fictional adventure rather than a documentary. There’s no confirmed release date yet but there is a plot outline, which sees a group of kids follow a coded message left by Charles Darrow in the game.
Kevin Hart has been attached to the movie so it should be a pretty major movie when it is released.
27. The police officer in Monopoly is called Officer Edgar Mallory
As confirmed by the official Monopoly Facebook page, the police offer on the Go To Jail space has a name, and it’s Officer Edgar Mallory.
The character you see in Jail also has a name, Jake the Jailbird. And in case you weren’t aware, the real name of Mr. Monopoly was Rich Uncle Pennybags, although he is more commonly referred to as Mr. Monopoly in modern times.
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