If you ever thought you had a chance to win big back in the day with McDonald’s Monopoly million dollar contest, you wasted a lot of time eating french fries. The new documentary series “McMillion$” coming to HBO uncovers the 12-year long gangster scam that fixed the game.
“McMillion$” is a six-part documentary series that will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and then premiere on HBO on Feb. 3. It examines the $24 million worth of fraud that corrupted the McDonald’s Monopoly game between 1989 and 2001, in which there were “almost no legitimate million dollar winners” in the contest.
The FBI got involved and found that a gangster by the name of “Uncle Jerry” would steal winning tickets for prizes and would sell them to undeserving winners. It led to a sting operation as tasty as a Big Mac that involved dirty dealings by ex-cons, mafia mobsters and of course Ronald McDonald.
“Somebody offers you a million dollars, you’re going to take it…unless you got to kill someone, then you might not take it,” a man says with a laugh. “This thing wrecked so many people’s lives,” another says.
James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte wrote and directed “McMillion$,” and they also executive produced the doc series along with mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Archie Gips.
The whole scam was first exposed in a 2018 article in the Daily Beast, which explained how Jerome Jacobson and a network of mobsters managed to fix the game over the course of 12 years until the FBI nabbed them. Ben Affleck and 20th Century Fox even nabbed the rights to the story back in 2018, and Affleck had an eye on directing the film for Matt Damon to star.
Watch the trailer for the documentary series above.