But where did the Monopoly game come from? How did this phenomenal pastime get its start? Rick Uncle Pennybags tells the legend best...
"It was 1934, the height of the Depression, when Charles B. Darrow of Germantown, Pennsylvania, showed a game he called Monopoly to the executives at Parker Brothers. Can you believe it - they rejected the game due to 52 design errors! But Mr. Darrow wasn't daunted. Like many other Americans he was unemployed at the time, and the game's exciting promise of fame and fortune inspired him to produce it on his own.
With help from a friend who was a printer, Mr. Darrow sold 5,000 handmade sets of the game to a Philadelphia department store. People loved it! But as demand grew, he couldn't keep up with all the orders and came back to talk to Parker Brothers again. The rest, as they say, is history! Its first vear-1935-the Monopoly game was the best selling game in America. And over its 60-vear history, an estimated 500 million people have played!
"Some more facts and figures people like to know...
- Over 200 million games have been sold worldwide.
- More than five billion little green houses have been 'built' since 1935.
- A set made by my friends at Alfred Dunhill, with gold houses and silver hotels, sold for $25,000.
- The longest game in history lasted 70 straight days.
- The longest game in a bathtub lasted 99 hours!
“My Monopoly game is so much a part of today's popular culture that my lawyers have trademarked many of its graphic elements. The tokens, Railroad, Community Chest, Chance and Title Decd designs, as - well as Boardwalk and all four gameboard corners are legally protected.
"Certain phrases from the game have entered everyday speech. Listen closely and you'll hear 'Do not pass GO... do not collect 200 dollars' and 'Get out of jail free' in TV and movie scripts. Who would have thought, back in 1935, that it - that I - would be so famous?
What a tribute... What a game!"
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