15 Fun Facts about Monopoly

2020 may seem like a year without celebration but that isn’t the case for Monopoly as the popular board game celebrates its 85th Anniversary on November 5. Check out these 15 fun facts to commemorate the world’s favorite family game about property trading.

1. Elizabeth Magie Phillips is credited with inventing the game possibly as early as 1902. She called it “The Landlords Game.” According to author Mary Pilon, Phillips created the game with two sets of rules: “An anti-monopolist set in which all were rewarded when wealth was created, and a monopolist set in which the goal was to create monopolies and crush opponents. Her dualistic approach was a teaching tool meant to demonstrate that the first set of rules was morally superior.”

2. On November 5, 1935, Phillips reportedly signed over her patent to George Parker, one of the Parker Brothers, for $500.

3. The original Monopoly game cost $2 to purchase.

4. The original game did not include player tokens. Players were told to use common household items like buttons.

5. The first metal game pieces were introduced in 1937. The original eight were the car, iron, lantern, purse, rocking horse, shoe, thimble, and top hat.

6. In the early 1950s, the lantern, purse, and rocking horse were the first game pieces to be removed from the game. They were replaced by the dog, horse and rider, and wheelbarrow.

7. The newest game pieces are a penguin, a Tyrannosaurus rex, and a rubber duck.

8. Until 1991, Parker Brothers had only issued two versions of the game, a regular and deluxe.

9. The special Monopoly 85th Anniversary Edition board game is just one of the 47 editions currently available on the official Monopoly website.

10. While there is not an actual number of Monopoly editions, it is estimated there are over 1,000 variations. The game is also available in over 100 countries and has been printed in 37 languages.

11. Properties are named after real places in New Jersey and Atlantic City like Boardwalk. However, in Spain, Boardwalk is named “Paseo del Prado” after a street in Madrid, and in France, Boardwalk is “Rue de la Paix.”

12. Go on the English board isn’t always translated literally. Los is translated as “come on” in German, Salida means “departure” in Spanish, VIA means “street” in Italian, and CTAPT is Russian for “start.”

13. Atlantic City's Illinois Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the 1980s.

14. The tycoon mascot is currently named Mr. Monopoly, but he used to be called Rich Uncle Pennybags.

14. Officer Edward Malloy is the lawman of Monopoly who keeps dragging Jake the Jailbird to the slammer.

15. The purpose of the game is to have players lose money until only one is left standing. Because of that, Free Parking is simply a place to hang out for a turn where nothing good or bad happens. Of course, the official rules have never stopped players from adding their own house rules.

The Atlantic
Monopoly Board Game
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