McDonald's is once again running their Monopoly Game.  For those that don't know this game is played by collecting game pieces (monopoly properties) through purchasing certain products at McDonalds.  This game is very popular among consumers which is surprising considering that the first 6 years or so that they ran the game were a complete fraud.  Turned out that the Chief of security at that promotion company that had been responsible for administering the contests had been stealing the winning pieces and distributing them to associates for a share of the profit.  In total something like $13 million was embezzled in this manner from 1995 to 2001. In this case they were caught and McDonalds has now setup security measures to make sure it never happens again.  Every time I hear about something like this it makes me wonder how many more times it is happening without anybody being caught.  It is like speeding on the freeway every time you see one person getting a ticket you know there are 100 more that didn't get caught.

In any event the interesting part of the Monopoly game is that in order to win a prize you need to collect all of the properties of one color, all four train depots, or both utilities. Makes it sound easy you collect two out of three and you think "Wow! I'm 2/3rds of the way there".  Well not really you see two of the three properties are very common while the last piece is rare.  That is how they control the number of winners for each prize.  I think most people realize this and I'm not revealing any dark secret or anything.  What is secret (somewhat) is which properties are the rare ones.  I'm always worried that I'm going to get the rare pieces, essentially winning the prize, and not realize it.  If I never get the other two, which is very likely, I effectively have forfeited the prize.  Well the great google has once again shown me the light.  I found a page that lists all the rare pieces for this year's game.  So now I can rest assured that I won nothing other then high cholesterol!