Monopoly Man: Name, History, Wealth & More Facts

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If you hear the words ‘Monopoly Man’, then you’ll likely imagine the man with the mustache that’s been a feature of Monopoly board games since 1936.

The Monopoly man has many names, including Mr. Monopoly, Rich Uncle Pennybags, or The Monopoly Guy.

Read on for fun facts and interesting details that add a new dimension to Rich Uncle Pennybags…

Monopoly Man

What is the Monopoly Man’s name?

The Monopoly man’s official name is Rich Uncle Pennybags. This top hat-wearing man with a mustache is also known as ‘Monopoly Man’ or ‘Mr Monopoly’, but his full name is Milburn Pennybags.

The Monopoly Man first appears on Chance and Community Chest cards in 1936 but had no name until he also appeared in a game called ‘Rich Uncle’ in 1946.

In 1988, a book called The Monopoly Companion revealed that the Monopoly man name was Milburn Pennybags.

What was the original name of the Monopoly mascot?

The original version of the Monopoly character didn’t have a name. Mr Monopoly Man was probably what he was referred to, until he got his name ‘Rich Uncle’ in 1946. The full name of Monopoly man wasn’t revealed until much later.

With different variations of the name floating around, they sometimes get muddled so he might be called Mr Pennybags by some.

What does the Monopoly man look like?

The Monopoly Man has a thick white handlebar mustache and small beady eyes. He wears a top hat, a smart three-piece suit with a red bowtie and carries a cane. Contrary to popular belief, he does not have a monocle.

Whilst many people imagine Mr. Monopoly with a monocle, he doesn’t actually have one. None of the illustrations of the Monopoly Man on the Monopoly boards feature a monocle or glasses.

Many characters that have a top hat and mustache are also equipped with a monocle, so our brains expect these three things to feature together. This is an example of the ‘Mandela Effect’, where many people share the same false memory.

Read more: Why you think the Monopoly Man has a monocle

Man with monocle

However, just as everyone had gotten used to the idea that the Monopoly Man does not have a monocle, the official Monopoly Facebook page shared this post which made us rethink everything!

So while we can be sure that the Monopoly guy doesn’t usually wear a monocle, there is at least one image of him with one.

Who is the Monopoly Man based on?

Nobody knows for sure who Mr. Monopoly was based on, but it’s most likely to be J.P. Morgan, Otto Kahn or a mixture of the two.

The inspiration behind Rich Uncle Pennybags, who was created by artist Dan Fox, remains something of a mystery.

Former Vice President of Parker Brothers, Phil Orbanes, claimed in an interview that it was J.P Morgan who inspired the iconic top hat and mustache look of Mr. Monopoly, as you can see from the photo below…

J. P. Morgan
J. P. Morgan (1837 – 1913)
Photo credit: The Everett Collection

The real J. P. Morgan, who was born in 1837, amassed a fortune of $80 million during his lifetime through investments, including in property.

However, there are claims that it was actually Otto Kahn who was the inspiration behind Rich Uncle Pennybags. Born in 1867, Kahn certainly had the same appearance as the Monopoly Man with his top hat, white mustache, and cane.

Otto Kahn
Otto H. Kahn
Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-07682 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

How tall is the Monopoly Man?

The Monopoly Man comes in a whole range of sizes, from one-inch illustrations on Chance and Community Chest cards to a whopping 30-foot inflatable Monopoly Man that was erected as part of a protest in Canada in 2019.

J.P. Morgan, the real life man who is believed to have inspired the Rich Uncle Pennybags character, was 6 ft 2 inches tall, which was considerably taller than most men at the time.

However, Otto Kahn, the other possible source of inspiration, was only 5ft 5 inches tall. It’s hard to tell from the illustrations, but the Monopoly Man doesn’t look that tall. So perhaps we could assume that he is actually 5ft 5 and that he is therefore more similar to Otto Kahn than J.P. Morgan.

How rich is the Monopoly Man?

According to the Forbes Fictional 15, last published in 2013, Mr. Monopoly was worth $1.2 billion. This made him the 13th richest fictional character, just behind Lara Croft.

Sadly, we haven’t had an update on the bank balance of Rich Uncle Pennybags since 2013.

When Mr. Monopoly first featured in the list, in 2006, he was in sixth place with a value of $7.1 billion. He’d dropped off the list by 2007, but had risen to ninth place again by 2011 with a value of $2.6 billion.

Who is richer – Scrooge McDuck or the Monopoly Man?

According to the latest Forbes Fictional 15, Scrooge McDuck is considerably wealthier than Mr. Monopoly with a net worth of worth $65.4 billion compared to just $1.2 billion for the Monopoly Man.

Mr. Monopoly’s highest position in the Forbes Fictional 15 was sixth place, in 2006, with a value of $7.1 billion. Meanwhile, Scrooge McDuck spent most years in the Top 5, including being in first place in 2007, 2011, and 2013.

How did the Monopoly Man get so rich?

While it has never been officially confirmed, it’s widely accepted that the Monopoly Man made his fortune in real estate investment – just as players of the board game do.

In a profile write-up for Forbes, which is unofficial and just for fun, he is said to have a college education from the University of Pennsylvania, before building up his millions in Atlantic City.

Does the Monopoly Man own Pringles?

Since 2012, the Pringles brand has been owned by Kellogg’s. Prior to that, it was owned by Proctor & Gamble. The Monopoly Man has never owned Pringles, but there is a family connection.

With their rounded faces and mustaches, the Monopoly Man (Rich Uncle Pennybags)and the Pringles Man (Julius Pringles) certainly do look similar, and that’s because they are, in fact, relatives.

Pringles Man

Julius Pringles was first created in 1967. The character was originally illustrated by Louis R. Dixon and looked less like Uncle Pennybags at first. The Pringles Man has gone through several changes since, and looked most similar to the Monopoly Man in the early 2000s.

There are many fan theories about the two being related, so I’ve dug into the depths of the internet and consulted with Monopoly insiders to discover the truth.

You can read more about that here: How The Monopoly Man And Pringles Man Are Related.

Where is the Monopoly Man from?

The Monopoly Man is from Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. We know this because the original Monopoly board features real-life streets from the city.

Although other Monopoly boards have since been made from across the globe, if you ever hear Rich Uncle Pennybag’s voice, you’ll hear that he has a New Jersey accent.

Who does the voice of the Monopoly Man?

Many people have voiced Mr. Monopoly in Monopoly video games and talking electronic board games. Interestingly, Tony is the most common name for an Uncle Pennybags voice actor.

Tony Pope voiced everyone’s favorite rich uncle in Monopoly Party. Tony Waldman provided the voice for the Monopoly Junior app. Wendell Johnson voiced Mr. Monopoly for Monopoly Plus.

As it turns out, nobody has the ‘monopoly’ on the voice of Rich Uncle Pennybags.

Who is the Monopoly Man in Ace Ventura?

A scene in ‘Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls’ features Ventura approaching a bald man with a monocle who goes by the name of McGuire, as he walks downstairs with his wife who is wearing fox fur.

After introducing himself and saying ‘you must be the Monopoly guy’, Ventura thanks McGuire ‘for the free parking’, then knocks him out before dancing around with the man hanging over his shoulders.

He then returns the unconscious McGuire to his wife, shaking him and mockingly announcing “Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.”

The part of McGuire, listed on IMDb as ‘Skinny Husband’, who Ace Venture jokingly names ‘the Monopoly guy’ is played by Michael Reid MacKay.

MacKay has also had other small roles in movies including Insidious: Chapter 3 and X2: X-Men United.

How old is the Monopoly Man?

Mr. Monopoly’s age has never been confirmed, though he’s generally considered to be between 60 and 80 years old.

Rich Uncle Pennybags is surprisingly sprightly for his age. In many versions of the game, he’s depicted running with a large bag full of money.

What does the Monopoly Man represent?

The Monopoly Man has become a symbol of ‘happy capitalism’. While he should represent the worst of capitalist society, he does it with such endearing charm that we love our Rich Uncle Pennybags.

When the precursor to Monopoly – Landlord’s Game – was originally created by activist Elizabeth Magie, her goal was to highlight the evils of a capitalist society where each person was protecting their own financial interests.

She wanted to highlight the failings of a society so focused on ownership of property, and the money it could make. Ironically, the idea for her game was taken by Parker Brothers who modified it to make Monopoly, giving her no credit for the initial idea.

Suggested read: When Was Monopoly Invented?

Who is the Monopoly Man’s wife?

The Monopoly Man, Rich Uncle Pennybags, is said to have a wife called Madge as well as a niece called Sandy and two nephews called Andy and Randy.

Madge was only named in the book ‘Monopoly: The World’s Most Famous Game & How it Got That Way’.

To conclude

Far from being a two-dimensional character, Mr. Monopoly has a fascinating history, a family of his own, and several different names that he’s known by.

Though we know him as Rich Uncle Pennybags, and we’d all like his wealth, he’s actually not as rich as characters like Mr. Burns, Tywin Lannister, or Walden Schmidt. Real estate investment may not be as lucrative as we might imagine.

Read up on some other Monopoly characters, including his family members, to learn even more about him.

Jenni Fielding

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Monopoly Land - an unofficial fan site. She has been a huge fan of Monopoly and has been playing the game for over 30 years. She is a stickler for the rules and loves to find vintage Monopoly sets in second-hand shops.