Monopoly With Real Money 2009

Sept. 18, 2009— -- It's a story that will forever change the way you think of the phrase, 'Get Out of Jail Free.'

  1. Monopoly Money Start
  2. Play Monopoly With Real Money

Real Clear Politics Video. As if the hard earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like monopoly money, that's what we've seen time and time again, Washington has become more. In high school, I actually used to carry a few Monopoly dollars in my wallet, just in case. I mean, you never know if a store will accept a $500 Monopoly bill instead of a $1 US currency bill. That’s an extra $499 in profit the store could make. So, it would be crazy for store to accept US currency instead of Monopoly money. Replacement Play Money for the 2009 Las Vegas Monopoly Board Game. NEW Monopoly Replacement MONEY Sealed FREE SHIPPING. Monopoly Replacement Pieces Parts Superman Returns Collector's Edition CHOICE. $12.95 to $14.99. The host will also need Monopoly games, tables, chairs, and a location to accommodate the game and the audience. While hosting an official Monopoly tournament is a lot of work, you have the potential to raise a lot of money for a specific cause, garner attention of Monopoly aficionados and hopefully, have a fun time.

During World War II, as the number of British airmen held hostage behind enemy lines escalated, the country's secret service enlisted an unlikely partner in the ongoing war effort: The board game Monopoly.

It was the perfect accomplice.

Included in the items the German army allowed humanitarian groups to distribute in care packages to imprisoned soldiers, the game was too innocent to raise suspicion. But it was the ideal size for a top-secret escape kit that could help spring British POWs from German war camps.

The British secret service conspired with the U.K. manufacturer to stuff a compass, small metal tools, such as files, and, most importantly, a map, into cut-out compartments in the Monopoly board itself.

'It was ingenious,' said Philip Orbanes, author of several books on Monopoly, including 'The World's Most Famous Game and How it Got That Way.' 'The Monopoly box was big enough to not only hold the game but hide everything else they needed to get to POWs.'

British historians say it could have helped thousands of captured soldiers escape.

So how did a simple board game end up in a position to help out one of the most powerful military forces on the planet? Silk and serendipity.

Silk Maps Were Key Escape Kit Elements

Of all the tools in a military-grade escape kit, the most critical item was the map. But paper maps proved too fragile and cumbersome, said Debbie Hall, a cataloguer in the map room at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England.

For hundreds of years, even before World War II, silk was the material of choice for military maps, Hall said, because it wouldn't tear or dissolve in water as easily as paper and was light enough to stuff into a boot or cigarette packet. Unlike maps printed on paper, silk maps also wouldn't rustle and attract the attention of enemy guards, she said.

'Initially, they had some problems printing on silk,' Hall said. 'It's quite technically challenging.'

But then MI9, the British secret service unit responsible for escape and evasion, found the one British company that had mastered printing on silk: John Waddington Ltd., a printer and board game manufacturer that also happened to be the U.K. licensee for the Parker Bros. game Monopoly.

'Waddingtons in the pre-war era was printing on silk for theater programs. For celebration events for royalty and that kind of thing,' said Victor Watson, 80, who retired as chairman of the company in 1993. 'It made a name for itself for being able to print on silk.'

He was just a child during the war but said his father Norman Watson, president of the company at the time, worked with British secret service to embed the maps in Monopoly games.

He said a secret service officer named E.D. Alston (known around Waddington as 'Mr. A.') used to come by to place the orders in person.

'Because he was in the secret service, I never knew who he was,' Watson said.

Maps, Compasses, Tools Hidden in Monopoly Boards

Watson said his father formed a small division of the company that first printed silk and rayon maps for the British military and later embedded escape kits in hundreds of Monopoly games.

Before leaving for missions, British airmen were told that if they were captured, they should look for escape maps and kits in Monopoly boards and other games delivered by charity groups. They were told that 'special edition' Monopoly sets would be marked with a red dot on the free parking space.

Watson said that in addition to the concealed compass, tools and maps, real bank notes were hidden under the fake money.

During the war, the Official Secrets Act prevented anyone involved from disclosing the plan, and Watson said his father was concerned that the company could be targeted by the Germans if they were tipped off

'It was very special and very secretive,' Watson said, adding that he didn't learn about the company's role helping the military until years later.

Different Maps for Different Regions

Waddington printed six different maps that corresponded with regions surrounding six different German camps, Orbanes said. Monopoly kits bound for a camp in Italy, for example, would include a map of Italy and Italian currency (lira).

To make sure each set reached its destination, the secret service devised another code.

'Each game was pinpointed as to the camp it would go to,' Orbanes said. To innocuously tag each board game, a period was added after different locations on the board.

A period after 'Mayfair,' for example, meant that the game was intended for Norway, Sweden and Germany. And a period after Marylebone Station meant it was a game destined for Italy. (It being a British version of game, London streets replaced the Atlantic City streets used in the original American version.)

Hundreds of Thousands of Silk Maps Helped POWs Escape During WWII

While 'Mr. A.' may have been responsible for bringing the war to Waddington's door, map experts credit another MI9 officer, Christopher Clayton Hutton, with hatching the master plan.

'He put two and two together,' Hall said, adding that Hutton was likely not alone in implementing it. 'He was the first who had this idea to get maps into camps concealed in board games. It looks innocent, they wouldn't arouse any suspicion... it just looked like someone was being charitable.'

Hall and others familiar with the Monopoly maps say not wanting to compromise the integrity of the Red Cross, the secret service created fake charity groups to smuggle the games into the German camps.

Barbara Bond, Pro-Chancellor at the U.K.'s University of Plymouth who is writing a book on silk maps, said Monopoly games weren't the only vehicles used to conceal escape maps. Decks of cards, the board game Snakes and Ladders and pencils also concealed maps for prisoners.

'There was a whole industry going on,' she said.

During the war, hundreds of thousands of silk maps were used to help prisoners escape. And she said it marked a change in the way the military viewed POWs.

During World War I, she said, 'If you were captured in battle that was it.'

But after Winston Churchill and others shared their experiences as POWs, she said, the perception of them changed.

'The POWs could still do a job,' Bond said. 'Not only was it their duty to fight if they were captured, it was their duty to escape.'

The silk (and rayon) maps and the clever ways they were distributed, she said, reflected that philosophy.

All 'Special Edition' Monopoly Sets Destroyed

Though silk maps from that era exist in libraries, homes and museums around the world, none of the original rigged Monopoly sets still remain.

After the war, everything was destroyed, Watson said.

But though the games themselves are gone, their legacy is a source of pride for the makers of Monopoly, past and present.

'Since Charles Darrow created Monopoly in the 1930s, the game has had a rich and interesting story. The use of Monopoly by the British government to sneak maps, money and supplies to prisoners of war during World War II is a little-known, but important part of our history,' said a spokeswoman for toymaker Hasbro, Inc. 'We are always honored when this iconic game becomes an important part of the fabric of a family's, or a country's, history and memories.'

In the 1970s, Watson had the chance to meet a few former POWs who actually used Wadddington's maps to escape from a prisoner camp at Colditz Castle, near Leipzig, Germany.

'It was really exciting,' he said. Although it's impossible to know precisely how many prisoners escaped with the help of the hidden maps, experts estimate that about 35,000 members of the British, Commonwealth and U.S. forces who were taken prisoner during the war returned to Allied lines before the end of the war.


'We reckon that 10,000 used the Monopoly map,' Watson said.

The World’s Most Expensive Board Game

You’ll probably only need a moment’s thought to determine which board game is loved by people so rich that they can afford to spend $100,000 on it.

That’s right: Monopoly. One of the few games whose objective is inherently immoral: crush your opponents into dust by monopolizing properties and jacking the price up. Not only is the End bad, but the Means ain’t pretty either. You buy your way out of jail, fail to report bank errors, and every time you find a good parking space, you loot the public treasury. In Clue, the objective is to catch the murderer, not get away with the crime, but in Monopoly, business practices that result in federal lawsuits result in a win.

Also, it’s factually inaccurate: I’m pretty sure an iron is not legally allowed to own real estate.

In fact, the game’s whole history is tainted by theft and lies. Charles Darrow, who sold the game to Parker Brothers (after they originally rejected it for 52 “fundamental errors”), claimed to be the sole inventor, but in fact was just the last in a series of developers. During a later lawsuit regarding a game named Anti-Monopoly invented by San Francisco State University economics professor Ralph Anspach, it was revealed that not only had Darrow not invented the game, he had actually copied it verbatim from another game designer, even going so far as to copy the mispelling of Marven Gardens as “Marvin Gardens.” (Anspach even wrote a book about it.)

Since Darrow patented the game, it’s been played by an estimed 750 million people, making it the most played commercial game in the world. Darrow was the first millionaire game designer, while the guy he stole it from probably went, well, bankrupt.

So of course Monopoly appeals to the uber-rich. And if one of them wants to acquire a set of the game to advertise their monetary excess, then they need look no further than famous toy store FAO Schwarz, which once offered a One of a Kind Monopoly board that cost $100,000 and featured:

  • 18-carat (75%) gold tokens, houses, and hotels
  • Rosewood board
  • street names written in gold leaf
  • emeralds around the Chance icon
  • sapphires around the Community Chest
  • rubies in the brake lights of the car on the Free Parking Space
  • the money is real, negotiable United States currency

Yes, that’s right, the money is real. Real money. Which, of course, begs the question of where they got the $500 bills. William McKinley appeared on $500 bills issued in 1929, but Richard Nixon halted their circulation by executive order in 1969 in an effort to combat organized crime (like, say, the large scale monopolization of real estate–what could be more criminal than that?).

However, if you want to actually flex your economic muscle, then you’re going to want to check out jeweler Sidney Mobell’s two-million dollar version. Rosewood board? Fuck that. Sidney’s board is made of 23k gold. Here’s a picture:

It doesn’t come with real money, but if you’re buying a two-million buck board, then come on, you can spring for the extra $15,140. But the most delicious irony of it all is that someone is spending two-million smackers on something that, according to Wired Magazine, isn’t even a good game. From an article on Settlers of Catan, they write:

Monopoly Money Start

Derk Solko, a garrulous former Wall Streeter who cofounded the Web site in 2000 after discovering Settlers, explains it this way: “Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It’s a very negative experience. It’s all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money.” Monopoly, in fact, is a classic example of what economists call a zero-sum game. For me to gain $100, you have to lose $100. For me to win, you have to be bankrupt. Gouging and exploiting may be perfect for humiliating your siblings, but they’re not so great for relaxing with friends.

Play Monopoly With Real Money

Monopoly also fails with many adults because it requires almost no strategy. The only meaningful question in the game is: To buy or not to buy? Most of its interminable three- to four-hour average playing time (length being another maddening trait) is spent waiting for other players to roll the dice, move their pieces, build hotels, and collect rent. Board game enthusiasts disparagingly call this a “roll your dice, move your mice” format.