Customer makes $1m in Big Mac cash stunt

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The fast-food giant McDonald's gave a former homeless man $1m as part of an advertising stunt aimed at restoring customer confidence in the chain.

Patrick Collier, 35, was one of five people who will receive a $1m (£700,000) cash prize. A further 50 customers will get $100,000. Managers approached Mr Collier and his fiancée, Sandi Fabian, as they were sitting down to breakfast at a McDonald's restaurant near Daytona Beach, Florida, last Saturday. The couple had been visiting the restaurant for about six weeks and had been living across the street in a hotel room they shared with Mr Collier's mother. Before that, they were homeless, sleeping in cardboard boxes.

McDonald's said the restaurant was one of five picked at random to distribute five $1m grand prizes. The promotion follows an FBI investigation last month, which found that an employee of a marketing company running McDonald's "Monopoly" game allegedly stole more than $13m winnings.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said winners were selected without any criteria, and it was "just a matter of being in the right place at the right time".