When I saw this promotion, I thought it looked a little suspicious. So I did some research. According to a McDonald’s press release:
“This Giveaway is being offered pursuant to the Stipulation of Settlement approved by Judge Stephen Schiller and entered in the consumer class action lawsuit Boland, et al. vs. Simon Marketing, Inc., and McDonald’s Corp., Case No. 01 CH 13803, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.”
You can download a PDF of the class action complaint here or just read this part:
While McDonalds delegated the responsibility of the running and management of the subject promotions to Simon, it remained responsible for the ultimate integrity of the promotions.
Commencing in around 1995 individuals at Simon began a plan to remove the winning game pieces form [sic] the random seeding process for the subject promotions of McDonalds.
Simon employees began a process, promotion after promotion, of pulling out large prize winning game pieces from random insertion into the public domain.
Simon employees then misdirected these winning game pieces to friends who claimed the prizes and split the winnings with the Simon employees.
The removal of the winning game pieces from random distribution resulted in reduced or non-existent odds to the plaintiffs of winning a substantial prize.
Bad Simon Marketing!
McDonald’s is trying to make amends. All you broke, Gen-X hipsters might want to stop by Mickey D’s this weekend for a supersize fries while you still can. Maybe you’ll get a million bucks.