13 Weird Facts About The Monopoly Man

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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.

Whether you know him as Mr. Monopoly, Rich Uncle Pennybags, or The Monopoly Guy, you won’t have to work hard to conjure up a mental image of the stout mustached man in the top hat.

If you’d like to know more about Mr. Monopoly, read on for fun facts and interesting details that add a new dimension to the character…

1. The Monopoly Man’s real name is Rich Uncle Pennybags 

The official name of the mascot of the game of Monopoly is Rich Uncle Pennybags. This top hat-wearing man with a mustache is also known as ‘Monopoly Man’ or Mr. Monopoly’.

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 Uncle Pennybag’s full name was Milburn Pennybags.

2. The Monopoly Man earned his fortune in real estate

While it has never been officially confirmed, it’s widely accepted that Rich Uncle Pennybags 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.

3. Nobody knows for sure who Mr. Monopoly was based on

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

Some experts believe that Mr. Monopoly’s appearance was based on businessman J. P. Morgan, while others believe that wealthy investment banker Otto Hermann Kahn is the person who inspired the Monopoly Man.

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

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

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

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

4. In Ace Ventura, the title character mistakes a rich man for the ‘Monopoly guy’

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.

5. Uncle Pennybags is not the long-lost brother of Julius Pringles

Though they look similar thanks to their rounded faces and mustaches, the Monopoly Man (Rich Uncle Pennybags) is not related to the Pringles Man (Julius Pringles).

There are many fan theories about the two being related, being the same person, or being mortal enemies.

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.

Read more: Monopoly Man Vs Pringles Man

6. Various people have voiced Uncle Pennybags – most of them called Tony

Many people have voiced Mr. Monopoly in versions of the board game and console alternatives. 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.

7. The Monopoly Man never had a monocle

Whilst many people imagine Mr. Monopoly with a monocle, he actually hasn’t ever used one. None of the illustrations of the Monopoly Man (AKA Rich Uncle Pennybags) 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

8. Rich Uncle Pennybags has a thick white handlebar mustache

If you have ever doubted your own mind after learning that Mr. Monopoly has never had a monocle, you will be pleased to know that he definitely has a mustache. Rich Uncle Pennybags has a thick handlebar mustache.

9. The Monopoly Man is between 60 and 80 years old

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.

10. Rich Uncle Pennybags struggles with fluctuating wealth

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.

It turns out that real estate wealth can be very unpredictable.

11. Scrooge McDuck is much richer than Mr. Monopoly

According to the Forbes Fictional 15, Scrooge McDuck is the wealthy waterfowl we should all aspire to be. He’s always been a lot richer than Mr. Monopoly.

Mr. Monopoly’s highest position in the Forbes Fictional 15 has been 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.

When the last Forbes Fictional 15 was published in 2013, Mr. Monopoly had a value of $1.2 billion and Scrooge McDuck was worth $65.4 billion.

12. Mr. Monopoly has become a symbol of ‘happy capitalism’

Mr. Monopoly should represent the worst of capitalist society, yet 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 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?

13. Mr. Monopoly has a secret wife

Rich Uncle Pennybags is said to have a niece, Sandy, nephews Andy and Randy, and a wife called Madge.

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.