McDonald's Monopoly is an annual promotional event that usually begins in September or October of each year and runs for about a month, as of 2015. During this time, visitors to McDonald's restaurants receive game pieces with certain purchases and win prizes when sets of pieces are made.
The sets of pieces correspond to the collections of properties in the Monopoly board game. Various prizes are given when a complete set of properties of the same color are created. Usually, one or two pieces in each set are produced in large numbers and are relatively common, but one remaining piece is only produced in very limited quantities and is hard to obtain.
Pieces are given with certain food items. Pieces can also be entered and tracked online by creating an account at the McDonald's website. It is also possible to get instant win pieces, which range from free food items to substantial cash prizes. The full range of prizes changes from year to year.
From 1995 to 2001, many of the rare properties needed for the best prizes were stolen by Jerome Jacobson, the head of security for the marketing company that produced the pieces. Jacobson distributed them to family friends. The game was handled thereafter by a new marketing company.