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10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Monopoly

For a game that everyone and their mother has played, people seem to know little about its history. Next time you play, you'll look like a real pro — especially if you pull out MONOPOLY with the new cat token. (Bet you didn't know that!)

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1. Parker Brothers released the first official MONOPOLY game in 1935 — in the midst of the Great Depression.

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It sold like hotcakes (some old-timey language for ya) because it allowed people to live a life much unlike the reality around them, even if only for a couple hours.

2. During WWII, the British government used MONOPOLY to help POWs escape the Nazis.

These "special edition" sets contained real money, maps, compasses, and other tools.
Images Money (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 59937401@N07

These "special edition" sets contained real money, maps, compasses, and other tools.

3. "Marvin Gardens" is a misspelling.

While all the properties in MONOPOLY were locations in Atlantic City at some point, it's actually "Marven Gardens," but was supposedly misspelled on the prototype and never fixed. Above: what real estate in Marven Gardens actually looks like.
Via en.wikipedia.org

While all the properties in MONOPOLY were locations in Atlantic City at some point, it's actually "Marven Gardens," but was supposedly misspelled on the prototype and never fixed. Above: what real estate in Marven Gardens actually looks like.

4. In the classic version of MONOPOLY from the '30s, the bank contained a mere $15,140.

Though you can spend close to that on certain editions.
Adam Caudill (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: adamcaudill

Though you can spend close to that on certain editions.

5. Free Parking does not equal free money.

SNL Studios / Via gifrific.com

Among the many "house rules," this is probably the most atrocious. "Free Parking" in the actual rules is exactly what it says it is: you park on the space, for free.

6. Mr. Monopoly's original name was Rich Uncle Pennybags.

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7. The dude behind bars is "Jake the Jailbird."

And the man who put him there is "Officer Edgar Mallory."
Chris Potter (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 86530412@N02

And the man who put him there is "Officer Edgar Mallory."

8. Mediterranean Avenue is statistically the worst property.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/8095887641/
Sam Howzit (CC BY http://2.0)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/8095887641/

Its position on the board dictates it's the least likely property you'll land on.

Above: Even with a hotel, Mediterranean Avenue is never going to look as good as the REAL Mediterranean. Sorry.

9. The longest game ever played lasted 1,680 hours, or 70 days.

A game has also been played underwater, which lasted 1,200 hours (50 days).
monkeywing (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 9887585@N08

A game has also been played underwater, which lasted 1,200 hours (50 days).

10. Although more than five million individual house pieces have been produced, there is only one real MONOPOLY house.

It's located on Leona Drive in Toronto.
Jason Paris (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jasonparis

It's located on Leona Drive in Toronto.