McMillion's - How To Steal Millions In Front Of The Nose To McDonald's?

HBO six-part docuseries produced by Marc Wahlberg

In addition to a great serial program and a good movie program, HBO also has a documentary section. There are occasionally remarkable documentaries in the dock section, but this time this is not the case. It's about the largest uncovered robbery in the history of the prize games in the US - McDonald's Monopoly. All parts of the story: HBO, interesting scam, solid production is there - so where it went wrong?


In its megalomaniacal desire to see the case from every possible angle. Hours and hours of interview with participants, FBI investigators, witnesses. Too many hours and especially too many episodes. Many episodes seem to lose the pace, the series' structure is stretched to such an extent, that things happen indefinitely. Same questions to the same people. And so again, and again. And it's about ordinary people, to put it mildly. 


Maybe a better term would be simple people. Links to the Mafia, organized crime, is a shot in the dark. One man risked turning the weakness of the system into a gain in property, primarily for himself and then for everyone involved.


Between 1987 and 2001, the McDonald's Monopoly scam was a $ 24 million!


Between 1987 and 2001, McDonald's decided to use "McDonald's Monopoly" to promote the brand worldwide. Every buyer of McDonald's products received a sticker, which participated in the game prizes ranged from free fries to $ 1 million. In 2001 the FBI launched a national undercover operation to confirm fraud information and sent those guilty to prison. Immediately at the beginning of the investigation, the name of the mysterious 'Uncle Jerry' came up. 


The weakest link was the company hired to look out for the safety of the more valuable parts - Simon Marketing. They designed the game and were responsible for the safety and regularity of the mega-popular prize game.  Their security director is Jeremy Jacobson, a former police officer, and the proven fraudster was one of the first persons who caught FBI attention. Let's be honest J. Jacobson easily sounds like a fox in a chicken coop. 


The FBI also narrowed the circle around Gennaro "Jerry" Colombo through "ordinary game winners". It was he who had long been prime suspect as "Uncle Jerry". However, this further relative of the powerful Colombo mafia family was only Jeremy Jacobson's, first assistant, while the Jacobson was the one able to alienate the most valuable game pieces. 


Like Santa Claus, 'Uncle Jerry' shared the most valuable pieces, and most of the awards ended up in the same part of South Carolina?


From the moment Uncle Jerry hires 'lucky ones' via Colombo, to the moment of discovering the fraud of the century, 14 years have passed. With fraud, as much as $ 24 million ended up with people who received the award from - Uncle Jerry. In return, they gave him part of the prize or paid $ 100,000 in advance.


Most of the winners came from the same district in the state of South Carolina. Unbelievably, but that was never a strange thing to McDonald's. The advertising campaign included the territory of Canada, Australia, The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Portugal ... And most of the winners are from one district of one US state. Not to believe it, and apparently, McDonald's had never looked at the map of his most valuable winnings for a moment. 


Almost all of the biggest gains, cash, or expensive vehicles end up in the hands of fraudsters. Uncle Jerry made one smart move. Although he was by no means a criminal mastermind. One prize card - Dodge Viper was given to St.Jude Children Hospital, Memphis - Tennesse. That echoed on national television and probably bought Jacobson more time to rob McDonald's undisturbed.


Twists and turns with Uncle Jerry and the associates


After Jerry Colombo died in a traffic accident in 1998, Jacobson switched to new associates. Among other things, member of the Mormon church was involved. Which normal person refuses $ 1 million? 


When they asked one convicted helper of Uncle Jerry, would you do it again? He answered with a laugh: 'Tomorrow'! Now we come to the incredible ending to the whole story. Only about ten people from that fraudulent chain have been punished. The penalties are symbolic. More than symbolic. Conditional, up to cash. I don't want to reveal all the details, but let's say $ 137 a month for the rest of their life. To someone who was unfairly given $ 1 million?


Two key questions are: How did Uncle Jerry get to the most valuable pieces, and how did the FBI get involved in the game?


Why did I say at the beginning of the review that the series is long and not overly interesting? Because of a couple of key things, the authors of the series James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte conceal to the very end. And these are the two most important questions. How did Jerry Jacobson manage to cheat the system and get the most valuable pieces under the watch of strict controls? How did the FBI even 'smell' the fraud? Clearly, I will not answer these questions. The answers will be given to you at the very end. But until then, you have to watch endless conversations with not-so-interesting people. Which are repeated! And they repeat. And they repeat. Someone somewhere might even give $ 1 million just not to watch this show. If you are the one who would do so, maybe it's easier just to ask Uncle Jerry how did he get you that McDonalds Monopoly piece in the first place!