Are you the king or queen of Monopoly in your family or circle of friends? Do people hate playing with you because they know you’ll always win, unless you’re particularly unlucky that day?
If that’s the case, you might want to know more about the Monopoly World Championship – maybe you should enter?
Read on to learn more about the Monopoly World Championship tournaments, including how they work, when they are held, the sort of money you can win and other interesting World Championship facts.
Is there a Monopoly World Championship?
There is an official Monopoly World Championship, organized by Hasbro. It’s held every 4 to 6 years, with gaps between the tournaments generally getting longer since the first in 1973. The last tournament was held in 2015 – the planned 2021 championship was cancelled due to the Coronavirus.
Monopoly World Championship Dates (Past & Future)
When the Monopoly World Championship first started, it was intended as an annual event. Tournaments were held in 1973, 1974, and 1975, before they started to become less regular.
Here are the details of every Monopoly World Championship to date…
|1973||Catskills, New York, USA||Lee Bayrd, USA|
|1974||New York, New York, USA||Alvin Aldridge, USA|
|1975||Washington DC, USA||John Mair, Ireland|
|1977||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Cheng Seng Kwa, Singapore|
|1980||Bermuda||Cesare Bernabei, Italy|
|1983||Palm Beach, Florida, USA||Greg Jacobs, Australia|
|1985||Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA||Jason Bunn, United Kingdom|
|1988||London, England||Ikuo Hyakuta, Japan|
|1992||Berlin, Germany||Joost van Ordern, The Netherlands|
|1996||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Christopher Woo, Hong Kong|
|2000||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Yutaka Okada, Japan|
|2004||Tokyo, Japan||Antonio Zafra Fernandez, Spain|
|2009||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA||Bjorn Halvard Knappskog, Norway|
|2015||Macau, China||Nicolo Falcone, Italy|
The data in the above table comes from the book ‘The Monopoly Companion: The Player’s Guide‘ by Philip Orbanes and is confirmed in the Monopoly Championship History Wiki and this press release by Hasbro.
Interestingly, Matthew from WorldofMonopoly.com sent me the image below, which shows that the Palm Beach Florida World Championship was labeled as the 5th one. Perhaps this is an error? Who knows?
There were plans for a Monopoly World Championship to be held in 2021 in Hong Kong. This would already have been the longest gap between tournaments. However, the tournament was canceled due to the effects of the Coronavirus. A new date has not yet been set.
How many times has the United States hosted the Monopoly World Championships?
The United States has hosted the Monopoly World Championships six times. This is more than any other country.
Of the other eight tournaments, two have taken place in Monaco, and then one each in Bermuda, England, Germany, Canada, Japan, and China.
In terms of continents, this means that the World Championships have been held in North America 8 times, Europe 4 times, and Asia twice.
Monte Carlo is the only city to have hosted the Monopoly World Championships twice.
The 2009 event was the first time that the semi-finals and final were broadcast in the US – viewers could log onto ESPN’s website ESPN360.com (now ESPN3) and watch the games unfold. It was also the first to welcome spectators.
Monopoly World Championship Winners
The current Monopoly world champion is Nicolo Falcone, of Italy. He won the last tournament held in 2015, meaning he is officially recognized as the current world’s best Monopoly player. He defeated prior world champion Bjorn Halvard Knappskog at the final table.
The following video shows Falcone winning the tournament in Macau, China.
Of the fourteen world champions, only two have been from the United States. Those victories came in the first two tournaments where there were only four players at each, three of whom were from North America!
At the first Monopoly World Championship tournament in 1973, the UK champion Brian Nuttall was invited.
In 1974, this was invitation was extended to the European champion, who also came from the UK – TV presenter and former member of the British parliament, Gyles Brandreth. (He became a politician after his Monopoly World Championships appearance, in the 1990s).
As it stands, there have been representatives from 63 countries around the world at the Monopoly World Championships. This is around a third of the recognized countries that exist in the world.
Monopoly World Championship Prize Money
When Nicolo Falcone won the 2015 Monopoly World Championships, his prize was $20,580 USD – the same amount of Monopoly money included in the game (since the game was refreshed in 2008).
All players also received a gift bag including a branded polo shirt, a tournament game set, a Monopoly World Championship 2015 special edition set in both Cantonese and Portuguese (the official languages of Macau where the tournament was held), a Monopoly Deal game, and a special token and speed die box.
The first Monopoly World Championships didn’t have prize money, with players competing for a trophy named after Charles Darrow, the man behind the original official Monopoly game.
|1973||The Darrow Cup|
|1974||The Darrow Cup|
|1975||The Darrow Cup|
|1977||$5,000 and the winner’s name on a silver plate|
|1980||$5,000, a gold medal, and their name on the silver plate|
|1983||A $10,000 shopping spree|
|1985||$15,140 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time) and the Golden Anniversary version of Monopoly|
|1988||$15,140 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time) and a PC|
|1992||$15,140 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time) and a gold medal|
|1996||$15,140 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time) and the winner’s name inscribed on a trophy|
|2000||$15,140 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time)|
|2004||$15,140 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time)|
|2009||$20,580 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time)|
|2015||$20,580 (the amount of money in Monopoly at the time)|
Monopoly World Championship Rules
From 1973 until 2004, the Monopoly World Championships utilized the classic rules of Monopoly. This meant that players rolled two dice only, and followed the rules as stated in the official Monopoly rule book.
Properties had to be auctioned if they were not bought, there was no reward for landing on Free Parking, and play continued either until all players, barring the winner, were bankrupt, or a time limit expired.
For games that reached the time limit, a winner was determined based on how much money they had at the end of the game.
In 2009, the rules were changed to incorporate the new Speed Die.
This helped to make the games faster, with the actual final being the shortest in world championships history at around 42 minutes.
It’s believed that this change was to help promote the new version of the game and also to make the event more marketable to spectators and viewers, who may not want to sit and watch two-hour games.
The planned 2021 tournament would not have used the Speed Die. You can read the full rules that were planned for the event here.
Monopoly World Championship Format
The format of the world championship has changed over the years, although it has remained relatively similar since 2000.
The 2015 tournament welcomed 28 players, who all took part in three preliminary rounds, each lasting an hour – these were unseeded games that were drawn randomly.
Players were then given a points value depending on their performance in the preliminary rounds.
- Being the last person standing earned players 28 points
- Players who were in 1st place in a game ended by the time limit won between 16 and 25 points, depending on how many players were still in the game
- Anyone who wasn’t eliminated by the time limit received some points, with second place ranging from 8 to 14
Once all three preliminary rounds were completed, the top 16 players on points scored moved into the semi-finals.
The semis were seeded and had an extended time limit of 75 minutes. The seedings were based on the placings in the preliminary rounds, and were:
- Table 1 – 1st vs 8th vs 9th vs 16th
- Table 2 – 2nd vs 7th vs 10th vs 15th
- Table 3 – 3rd vs 6th vs 11th vs 14th
- Table 4 – 4th vs 5th vs 12th vs 13th
The winners of each semi-final advanced to the final to play a 2-hour timed match, although it only actually lasted for 47 minutes.
Nicolo Falcone, the winner, had finished 12th in the preliminary rounds and won his semi-final on Table 4 by bankrupting all of the other players.
Monopoly Championship Edition
There is a version of Monopoly called the Monopoly Championship Edition.
The rules of the Monopoly Championship Edition mirror standard Monopoly and the game includes a Speed Die.
The main difference between Monopoly Championship Edition and regular Monopoly games is the quality of the game. The Championship Edition has a more deluxe gameboard with metallic houses and hotels, and a velvet bag to hold the dice and tokens.
The game also includes a beginner’s guide. This is not a rule book (although the rules are included too). This is actually to provide tips and tricks for Monopoly players on how to play more like the pros.
Players who make it through local and national tournaments generally have a different style to more casual players, and the Championship Edition helps to introduce these to newer or more relaxed players.
The game also comes with a chrome-painted trophy, so the winner has a prize to claim.
Suggested read: The Best Monopoly Properties to Buy
How to Organize a Monopoly Tournament
If you want to organize an official Monopoly tournament, there are a number of steps you need to follow.
1. Contact Hasbro and complete a registration packet.
This must be mailed to the company and it needs to include all the details of the tournament.
2. Find 24 participants.
Official Monopoly tournaments cannot be held with more or fewer players.
3. Get written approval from Hasbro.
You can only run your tournament once you have this, and it can take up to four weeks from receipt of the application packet.
4. Brush up on the rules.
Your tournament must last for two rounds and players must follow the official Monopoly rules.
Running an official tournament does not immediately qualify the winner for further championships, although it can help. Qualification for local, national, and then world championships will vary depending on the country you’re in.
The Bottom Line
The Monopoly World Championships is a serious (although, at the same time, fun) event. Crowning the world’s best Monopoly player isn’t taken lightly, with many players entering at local and national levels in order to qualify.
If you want your awesome Monopoly skills to be recognized, start by picking up the Championship Edition and learning some of the styles of play the pros use.
Then, consider enrolling in local and national tournaments. Maybe your name will be added to this page when I update the winners in the future!