Monopoly celebrates 80 years with cash hidden inside games

Lucky fans in France could find up to £15,500 hidden in their edition of the venerable board game

500 Euro banknotes are on a Monopoly boardgame
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The creators of Monopoly are celebrating the game's 80th anniversary by hiding real money inside special editions of the board game on sale in France.

"We wanted to do something unique," said Florence Gaillard, brand manager at Hasbro France. "When we asked our French customers, they told us they wanted to find real money in their Monopoly boxes," she said.

Out of 30,000 anniversary boxes, 80 sets will include real money. One set of the game contains the major jackpot, where every single toy note is replaced with real money, adding up to an impressive 20,580 euros (£15,500).

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Ten other sets will contain five real 20 euro notes, two 50 euro notes and one 100 euro note and the remaining 69 sets will contain 150 euros each.

The operation to change the notes was carried out in secret at a packaging plant. "First of all, it wasn’t easy to get the notes. They had to be escorted discreetly," explained Gaillard.

And, "appropriately for a game where players try to cruelly bankrupt their opponents, Monopoly even roped in a bailiff to count and re-count the real notes," AFP reports.

Employees prepare envelopes with banknotes during a commercial operation of the Monopoly game, on January 13, 2015 in Saint-Avold, eastern France. Toy maker Hasbro celebrating the 80th annive

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

"When they asked me, I was giddy as a child," said fan Patrice Wimmer, the bailiff in question.

And there is bad news for those wondering they will be able to spot the sets containing money. "The difference is marginal," says Wimmer, "unless you turn up at the shop with precision scales."

Since Monopoly was launched in 1935, following the Great Depression, almost 300 million games have been sold worldwide and more than a billion adults and children are thought to have played it.

The most valuable version of the game was created by the American jeweller Sidney Mobell. His set featured a 23-carat gold board and diamond-encrusted dice.

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