I don’t know why it’s so thrilling, but there is something truly exciting about rolling the Monopoly dice. It always seems like once the available properties have dwindled, I’m still waiting to land on “Marvin Gardens” to complete my yellow set. I’ve got to somehow roll high enough to miss my opponents row of hotels near Illinois Ave., but roll too high and I’ll land on the “Go to Jail!” It’s a rush of adrenaline that somehow doesn’t make sense for a simple board game.
Although for some – Monopoly is not just a simple board game. It’s a way to make money. Big Money.
The last national Monopoly tournament featured a grand prize of $20,580! (That’s the total amount of money in a standard Monopoly game)
Before I tell you how to start signing up for tournaments, I need to give you a full disclaimer. I’m a bit of a geek and used to frequent Monopoly tournaments as a young lad. If you choose to enter a tournament, I might be the guy sitting across the table.
Local Monopoly Tournaments
Local communities, schools, and clubs often host small monopoly tournaments. A lot of them are for charity and can be a fun way to help out your favorite cause. However, sometimes the host will offer a cash prize for the winner. You can find a list of these types of tournaments here.
National Monopoly Tournament
The big bucks are up for grabs at the National Monopoly Championship, which is held every four years. The last tournament was in April, 2009 in Washington D.C. and thus, the next one will be in 2013.
There are 24 players invited to the tournament and they are chosen based off a selection process that is similiar to qualifying for Jeopardy. Entrants are required to take a multiple-choice test about Monopoly and answer a series of five essay questions that are meant to test the player’s knowledge of the game and game-playing strategy.
Once the tournament begins, the 24 players are divided into several groups and asked to play a standard game of Monopoly for a set amount of time (90 minutes or so). The player who has the most cash/assets when the buzzer goes off is then advanced to the final table where all of the finalists compete for the title and the cash.
If you’re so lucky to win the National Monopoly Championship, you will then go on to represent the United States in the World Monopoly Championship that is held later the same year. The official Monopoly site will have more details about how to qualify as we get closer to the tournament next year.
In the mean time, start practicing your real estate skills…
Good Luck Penny Hoarders!
Here are some other great resources if you are interested in playing in a monopoly tournament:
“Under the Boardwalk” (Documentary about Monopoly tournaments)