McMillions trailer

Remember the McDonald’s Monopoly game? It was everywhere in the 1990s, and you probably recall excitedly peeling a stamp off a box of French fries and checking to see if you won a huge prize, only to inevitably be disappointed. Turns out the game was being rigged by a former police officer who was stealing the big money prizes and passing them off to his friends, collecting a percentage of the “winnings” every time.

In 2018, The Daily Beast published a wildly entertaining article detailing exactly how all this went down, and Hollywood took notice. A feature film version is still in development, but first, HBO is releasing a documentary series called McMillions which recounts the stranger-than-fiction story through interviews with the people involved. Check out the newest trailer for the six-part doc below.

McMillions Trailer

The reason you may have never heard about this scam comes down to timing: the trial began the day before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the press clearly had more important things on its mind at that time. Here’s the official poster:

McMillions poster

Mark Wahlberg and Steven Levinson, the guys behind HBO’s Entourage, Ballers, Boardwalk Empire, and How to Make It in America, are executive producing alongside Archie GipsJames Lee Hernandez, and Brian Lazarte. Hernandez and Lazarte, who have an eclectic smattering of credits to their names as writers, editors, directors, and producers, are directing all six episodes of McMillions, and the first few episodes are set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival later this month.

Here’s the official synopsis:

This six-part documentary series examines the $24 million-dollar McDonald’s Monopoly game fraud, chasing the mysterious mastermind behind the scam and the intrepid and dedicated team of FBI agents on his trail. For over a decade, McDonald’s awarded prizes in its Monopoly promotional game tie-in, unaware that the winning tickets for prizes worth $25,000 and up were being stolen and sold to undeserving winners. An anonymous tip to the FBI in 2001 sets off a far-reaching chain of events that will come to include dogged and unorthodox investigative work, undercover sting operations and dirty dealings by ex-cons and mafia mobsters. This fast-paced documentary series unfolds with suspense as it unravels the twisted threads of the fast-food fraud and reveals the real-life characters who got away with stealing from Ronald McDonald and the FBI agents who pursued them.

McMillions premieres on HBO at 10pm on Monday, February 3, 2020.

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