I grew up on Monopoly. I was pretty good at it, too. Half my family still thinks I should have gone into real estate. The other half thinks I would have just used my houses and hotels to hold more collectibles. Both halves are probably half right.
The game's roots go back to 1903. First called "The Landlord's Game", it was invented by American Elizabeth Magie, but lots of people contributed to the development of the Monopoly game I came to know and love as a child.
On November 5, 1935 the first Monopoly board game hit store shelves. In honor of this illustrious birthday, here are a few little known facts about one the well known game:
- There's no written rule about putting "Community Chest" and "Chance" money in the middle of the board and paying it out to the player who lands on "Free Parking". But that's how most people play it.
- Low rent properties pay best. People land on them more often (so you collect rent) and they're cheaper to develop than a high dollar high rise in Marvin Gardens.
- "Marvin Gardens" is a misspelling of an actual place - Marven Gardens - in Atlantic City.
- Over $3 trillion in Monopoly money has been printed since 1935.
- People play Monopoly in 114 different countries in 47 different languages.
When I was a kid Monopoly really was a "landlord's game". These days there are so many themes you can hardly keep up. No matter what movie, TV show, book, city, or sport you like, there's probably a Monopoly to go with it. The boards and pieces might have changed over the years, but the play is still the same. And so is the strategy. If you want to win, that is.