McMillions: HBO docuseries follows bizarre case of man who stole £18m from McDonald’s

His decade-long scheme allowed him to make millions through fixing the McDonald’s Monopoly

Annie Lord
Tuesday 04 February 2020 12:07 GMT
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McMillions trailer – HBO documentary

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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A new six-part HBO crime series titled McMillions follows Florida-based FBI officer Doug Matthews as he investigates a now-notorious case of fraud involving the McDonald’s Monopoly game.

Starting in 2001, the documentary shows Matthews working to make sense of a series of loosely connected clues, starting with a tapped phone call referring to a mysterious “Uncle Jerry”.

Eventually, Matthews finds himself in pursuit of rogue ex-police officer, Jerry Jacobson, who had been scamming the fast-food chain via a series of false addresses, smuggled tickets and mob connections.

The twice-a-year McDonald’s promotion promised anything from a free burger to a million dollars for the customer who found the lucky game piece when they peeled the sticker from their wrapper or drink container.

Jacobson was in charge of delivering the most lucrative game pieces fo McDonald’s packaging plants. However, he spent most of the Nineties keeping the pieces and selling them to a network of friends and distant relatives. In total, he managed to swindle over $24m (£18m) in illegal winnings.

Though it is widely considered as the largest case of fraud in US history, the scam was relatively unreported as it happened only days before 9/11.

McMillions is available on HBO now, with a UK release date yet to be confirmed.

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