5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Monopoly

On November 5, 1935, Parker Brothers began marketing the board game “Monopoly,” and has sold more than 250 million games around the world. Even if you think you're an expert, there are some little-known facts about Monopoly that may surprise you...

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The First Version Of The Game Was Created By A Woman Before Charles Darrow sold the game to Parker Brothers, Lizzie Magie patented her Landlord’s Game in 1904, which was eerily similar to Monopoly. To play the Landlord’s Game, participants worked their way around a board paying rent and purchasing properties. Sound familiar? Twenty-nine years later, Charles Darrow made a few tweaks to Magie's board game and sold it Parker Brothers in 1935.

The Game Mascot Was Based On A Real Person Monopoly players are familiar with Rich Uncle Pennybags, the Monopoly mascot who wears a bowtie, top hat, and morning suit. But, most people don’t realize the character is based on J.P. Morgan. The character first appeared on Chance and Community Chest cards in 1936. John Pierpont Morgan held the controlling interest in many industries such as U.S. Steel, AT&T, General Electric, and 21 different railroads, so it seemed a logical choice as the game’s mascot.

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The Board Pieces Were Inspired By The Creator’s Niece. Darrow initially thought players could supply their own board pieces from items around their home, but his niece suggested using the charms from a girl’s bracelet. The original board tokens were added in 1937 and included a top hat, thimble, iron, purse, rocking horse, car, lantern, and shoe. Over the years, many special editions have been released such as The Godfather version with a horse’s head token and the Star Trek version with the captain’s chair token.

Surprising Records Have Been Set By Game Players If you've ever played a game of Monopoly, you know it can take a while to determine a winner. A typical game should last around 60 to 90 minutes, but according to Hasbro, the longest game on record lasted 70 straight days. There have been a slew of other records that have been set by Monopoly players. The longest game played while in a bathtub was 99 hours, and players were even up in a treehouse playing for 286 hours.

Monopoly Helped POWs Escape During WWII During World War II, British secret service reportedly used Monopoly boxes to smuggle escape supplies to POWs in Germany. The boxes contained handy items to use when escaping such as a file and compass that served as playing pieces, a map concealed inside the board, and banknotes hidden underneath the colorful Monopoly money. Apparently the Germans never realized what what was hidden inside the game boxes.