McMillions: All Episodes
March 16, 2020 11:39 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A six-part documentary series from Executive Producer Mark Wahlberg, McMillion$ chronicles the stranger-than-fiction true story of how $24 million-dollars was stolen from the McDonald’s Monopoly game of the 1990s, the mystery mastermind behind the scam and the intrepid FBI agents on his trail.

For over a decade, McDonald’s fast-food empire awarded prizes in its Monopoly promotional game tie-in, unaware that the biggest winning tickets were being stolen and sold to undeserving winners through a complex web of family and friends who became co-conspirators. An anonymous tip to the FBI in 2001 triggers a far-reaching chain of events that will come to include dogged and unorthodox investigative work, undercover sting operations and dirty dealings by shifty ex-cons with ties to the mafia.

The series unravels the twisted threads of the fast-food fraud through exclusive firsthand accounts and archival footage featuring the FBI agents who brought down the gaming scam, McDonald’s corporate executives who were themselves defrauded, the lawyers who tried the case and the culprits and prizewinners who profited from the complicated scheme, as well as individuals who were often unwittingly duped into being a part of the ruse.

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Available on HBO TV, streaming, and On-Demand.
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posted by Clinging to the Wreckage (12 comments total)
 
I had read a bit about this scam a few years ago when it was on the blue but I didn't realize how widespread it was. I thought the show was well made. I was surprised by how many (most) of the people involved with the scam were still acting like victims in this whole thing. There were only a few who I could even sort of see as victims (certainly the printers and people from Simon Marketing) and among them George Chandler is one of the few who doesn't really act like a victim, just a sucker.

I read a review that said fans would enjoy the charming, goofy FBI agent Doug Mathews. I did find him goofy, but far from charming. He was an interesting part of the show though and quite a contrast to Chris Graham.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:49 PM on March 16


I've only seen the first three episodes but I cannot fucking stand the FBI agent and may just skip the rest if he is still a major part of the rest of the show.
posted by skewed at 2:15 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Thought that the story was interesting, but as a documentary... it wasn't great?

I, too, loath that smug braggadocious FBI agent.
posted by porpoise at 3:32 PM on March 16


We are in agreement about that guy. A familiar New Yorker cartoon caption comes to mind.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:41 PM on March 16


The FBI agent is unbearable, but he has WAY less screen time after the first two episodes. The mob brother and his wife are my absolute favorite -- there's something about their (almost practiced?) synchronization that cracks me up every time. The career criminal (introduced as getting his start drug dealing in Monaco) is also incredibly charming. And they had a couple of the victims -- the flight attendant and the mob wife's friend -- who I felt terrible for.

I enjoyed the miniseries. I...probably would've enjoyed it more in 4 hours than I did in 6, but I enjoyed it more as a docu-series than I would've as a 2 hour movie. I hope future HBO crime docs focus on frauds and scams; I'm really grossed out by the murder series.
posted by grandiloquiet at 4:04 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]


I’m on episode 2. Couple thoughts so far

1) I’m glad I at least sorta share this with other folks; ACAB goes at least triple for that FBI rookie piece of garbage. Who, or what kind of fucked up system, decided to give him a gun and badge?
2) I have real trouble so far with caring that someone is stealing from McDonalds
posted by supercres at 7:28 PM on March 16


> 2) I have real trouble so far with caring that someone is stealing from McDonalds

And really, the only actual "theft" from McDonalds was when Jacobson swiped the winning gamepieces in the toilet during transfers. The money was already there to give away to the winning gamepiece holder. What I think was clearly the most damaging aspect of the crimes, and one the show should've went harder on is that Jacobson and co did this to shift the tax burden of the winnings off to the unsuspecting and desperate dupes.

I also didn't like the wannabe rockstar FBI guy but enjoyed those scenes more as a "know your enemy" kind of thing. Agree this would've worked better as four rather than six episodes, but all in all found it engrossing and informative, and also just a helpful look back at the turn of the century to jog lots of associated memories.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:50 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


I found it much more entertaining when I realized the FBI guy is basically Jason Mendoza.
posted by Sibrax at 1:52 PM on March 17 [6 favorites]


yeah, The Good Place kind of primed me to be completely incapable of taking Jacksonville seriously as a place just in general
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:39 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


I, too, loath that smug braggadocious FBI agent.

At some point in the first episode, I turned to my boyfriend and said "Trump is going to see this show and then this guy is going to be the next director of the FBI." Also, I would pay cash money for an epilogue in which his partner/senior agent guy who declined to participate in this documentary just watches it and allows his facial expressions to be recorded for my amusement.

My favorite part was the reveal at the end (so, spoiler warning) that the prosecutor Devereaux became friends with one of the conspirators - the brother (step brother? half brother?) of the guy who actually stole the game pieces. I don't know why, exactly, but that cracked me up.
posted by the primroses were over at 10:26 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Deveraux befriending that guy and even going to birthday parties did break my brain in a kind of good way.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:31 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Ultimately disappointing for me. Other than Gloria and maybe the step brother, I had no sympathy for any of those people - especially the mob family who I felt were really being pushed as sympathetic figures by the end.
posted by DowBits at 5:19 PM on March 21


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