McDonald’s Monopoly game is a win for the company

McDonald’s Monopoly game has quickly become a tradition for fast food enthusiasts

In 1987, fast food giant McDonald’s came up with a marketing tactic so clever and ahead of its time that it quickly ushered in a recurring yearly event for the chain. Their idea was to combine one of, if not the most, popular board games in the world, Monopoly, with their brand. The result: a worldwide tradition that generates hundreds of millions of dollars.

The idea behind the game is quite simple: Monopoly game pieces are printed on the packaging of various food and beverage items on the McDonald’s menu. You simply have to peel off the sticker and look at what it says. Three things can happen: you can win instant prizes, such as numerous food items, gift cards, or cash; you can win more specific rewards that can be redeemed online, like a Roku Streambar, a video game, a coffee maker or even a drill set; or the third and most common result, you get a special Monopoly-themed sticker that when combined with others can win you big prizes, such as $50,000 in cash, a new car or even a family vacation for four at the Universal Orlando Resort.

However, to win these prizes, you have to be in possession of all the pieces in a group, usually two to four, just like you would have to possess all properties of the same color group to build houses and hotels in the real Monopoly game. The catch McDonald’s uses compared to the real Monopoly, is that some pieces are going to be rarer to find than others. For every sticker peeled, all the pieces are going to be pretty common to find, except those that are next to impossible to track down. What often happens is that people will start collecting the pieces and might be one piece away from winning one of the bigger prizes. For a second, they think they have an actual chance of winning, but in reality, with a total of approximately 115,340,703 total game pieces, the odds of pulling one of the rarer stickers are so incredibly low that it is mostly a mirage.

This game is a great publicity stunt that generates big profits for the fast food chain. People will be more inclined to go to one of their restaurants because they have a chance to earn rewards by eating there. Since the event lasts one month, people are inclined to return more often in a shorter span, because the more they accumulate game pieces, the more they have a chance of winning. The game pieces don’t come with every item on the menu (such as smaller items like a small fry, snacks or a junior chicken), but customers are rewarded with additional game pieces if they purchase larger portions. For example, by upgrading your medium fry by a large fry, you would be rewarded with extra pieces. All of these tactics help the customer grow interest towards the game, which means they have a higher chance of coming more often to McDonald’s and most likely eating more intended.

Overall, the McDonald’s Monopoly game is a massive win for the multi-billion dollar franchise, because it creates a game that gives the illusion to customers that they actually have a chance to win the big ticket prizes. At least for the clients, some of the smaller prizes are winnable. Either way, the game succeeds at attracting more people to come eat at their franchises for a month straight, resulting in the chain restaurant reaping more than what they sow in a true Monopoly win.


Feature graphic by Madeline Schmidt

The game is Monopoly and the loser is us

Companies like Amazon are winning the game of Monopoly, and it’s time we learn how it’s played

“Here’s the thing about those discount suppliers. They don’t care. They come in, they undercut everything, and they run us out of business. And then, once we’re all gone, they jack up the prices. It’s bad.

Sound familiar? It’s only the soundest thing that The Office’s fictional character Michael G. Scott ever said in his life. It’s also the basic premise of the children’s game Monopoly, as well as a legitimate business model in this capitalist, free market.

It’s happened over and over, where a mega monster corporation siphons away business to create a monopoly with the allure of convenience, savings, and efficiency. Then, once they control the market, they price gouge their customers.  We as consumers enjoy short-term gains, and are left with long-term pains.

We do have a vote in Canada — but in this system, we don’t vote with a ballot, we vote with a wallet. Instant gratification is not priceless. It’s the most expensive thing in the world, and every time we buy our groceries from Amazon, we’re fortifying the illusion that we need its service.

That’s right, this is about Amazon, and why it’s up to every single one of us to use our one vote — our purchasing power — to boycott them.

Bernie Sanders made waves depicting why Amazon is an immoral service. Amazon responded by tweeting an invitation to Sanders to visit their facilities and verify their efforts in safety, and listing those efforts to minimize the fatality of the pandemic.

Truth is, it’s common knowledge that you, reader, likely paid a higher tax rate than Amazon did last year. Amazon has plowed through scandals with brazen inaction. Their scandals leap from dangerous working conditions for their warehouse workers and delivery drivers, to their efforts to suppress workers unionizing, to the massive waste they create. I’ve gotta hand it to Amazon, they’re nothing if not versatile in their crap behaviour.

We’re in a system that’s rigged. It’s important that you know that the only thing that matters, more than blog rants, more than voting, even, is where you spend your money (but still vote). That’s literally it. When you withhold your money, you withhold purchasing power to large corporations that seek to further their interests. Oftentimes, this profit is used to apply political pressure on governments who then act against the people’s best interest. These corporations pay for ineffective governance with our money.

I’m saying buy smart. Buy local. Buy second-hand. Buy from a friend. Shop through word-of-mouth. And if you really need to buy online, let me show you how to use Amazon without paying for it, completely legally.

Step 1. Let’s say I’m shopping for scented candles. Start by typing it into your search engine.



Step 2. Select the inevitable Amazon link to browse their selection of scented candles.



Step 3. Select the item you prefer. In this case, I’m going with a Yankee Candle, because my dad’s name is Yankel, and it spoke to me.


The distributor (Yankee Candle Store) and product name (Midsummer’s Night) are readily available on this page.

Step 4. Copy the distributor and product name and paste it into your search engine. Scroll past the Amazon thirst traps, and select the distributor’s website.



Step 5. Click the link and make sure to search for any coupons or promotions the distributor may be offering. This is really common because Amazon is gouging these companies, and so these small retailers try and incentivise shoppers to go directly to their website.


Step 6. You will see here that the price of the candle is $29.50, whereas Amazon  charges $27.62. However, in the fine print, you see Amazon charges to ship (if you don’t hit the minimum amount for free shipping,) whereas the direct distributor charges a mere $5.99, leveling out the cost in the end.

This is just one example, and in the end it won’t always be such a small margin of savings. We have to keep in mind that Monopoly is no longer a day-long children’s game. We’re not playing with our siblings, and we’re not playing for bragging rights. We’re playing for our livelihood, and we’re losing.


Feature graphic by Taylor Reddam


Editorial: Concordia’s food system is a near-monopoly

On Nov. 2, a group of Concordia students protested Food Secure Canada’s 10th national assembly. The assembly used Aramark to cater its event, which is in direct conflict to its supposed mission: to promote and develop sustainable and accessible food systems that are healthy, safe and defined by the people that live within that system, according to its website.

If you don’t know who Aramark is, you’re not alone. Even though it is the largest food provider in Canada and America and is active in 21 countries, it is extremely good at hiding its name. In fact, you may not have known that the residence cafeterias at Loyola and the downtown campus are owned by Aramark, as well as many on-campus food sites, such as the Starbucks and the Tim Hortons/Freshii area in the LB building. Outside Concordia, Aramark supplies food to many prisons in America, schools, hospitals and other cafeterias around the world.

The group’s reason for protesting the assembly was to warn attendees that Aramark was catering the event—many of whom reported not knowing that prior to the event, and were outraged to find out. According to pamphlets distributed by event protestors, Aramark is known for the following violations: serving food with maggots in it to prisoners on several occasions, 66 counts of wage, hour, labour and employment discrimination, and turning a blind eye to numerous sexual assault allegations within the company. Aramark also has a history of supporting and increasing the ubiquity of the private prison system in America with hefty political donations, undoubtedly to increase its “customer base.”

Concordia allows Aramark to rent many spaces at Concordia for surprisingly low costs compared to the estimated yield of those spaces as part of a five-year contract with the possibility of a two-year extension. This contract began in May 2015.

Luckily, there is an organization at Concordia called the Concordia Food Coalition (CFC) that is organizing a campaign to lessen Aramark’s grip on Concordia’s food economy, and to establish healthier, more sustainable and less profit-driven initiatives in its place. The campaign, which is called the Food Autonomy Campaign (FAC) attempts to amend Concordia’s contract with its food provider in order to make the food system more ethical and less profit-driven. The FAC aims to change Concordia’s food economy in ways that find the balance between what is realistic/achievable while still being effective.

According to a member of the campaign, these are the core demands: 1) to remove some spaces from the contract that Concordia holds with Aramark and replace them with student-run food providers like the Hive Café, or with other options that are more concerned with issues often neglected by the university’s current provider, like local food sourcing, fair wages, sustainability and student opportunities; 2) to increase the amount of dining dollars residence students get to spend at places outside of the cafeteria (it is currently $200) without increasing the price of the meal plan, as well as allow students to spend that money at non-Aramark owned locations on campus (which is currently not the case); 3) to allow for students to shorten their contract with residence food services and use alternative food sources from the cafeteria like open kitchens, where they could make/store their own food if they wish.

We at The Concordian believe in supporting local economies over multinational corporations when possible, and we support the Concordia Food Coalition in their Food Autonomy Campaign to create those alternatives at Concordia. If you agree that Aramark’s monopoly over Concordia’s food system should be dismantled and replaced with ethical alternatives, spread the word about Aramark and its devious acts and support the CFC and FAC whenever you see them on campus. Both groups have Facebook pages with regular updates and more information, and you can contact to see how you can get involved.

Graphic by @spooky_soda

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