McMillions

The Absolutely True Story of How an Unlikely Pair of FBI Agents Brought Down the Most Supersized Fraud in Fast Food History

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By James Lee Hernandez

By Brian Lazarte

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$30.00

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$39.00 CAD

In this stranger than fiction story of the massive crime network that rigged the McDonald’s monopoly game for decades, unlock new, exclusive interviews and stories that couldn't make it into the HBO docuseries, McMillion$. Perfect for readers of Argo, The Wizard of Lies, and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

In March of 2001, Federal prosecutor Mark Devereaux cold-called Rob Holm, the head of security for McDonald's Corporation. Without explanation, Devereaux asked that Holm and several other McDonald's senior executives plan a visit to the Jacksonville, Florida, FBI, and tell no one about their intended destination. It wasn't up for discussion. Upon their arrival, Devereaux watched them closely, looking at body language, checking for tells. To him, they were all potential suspects.

Once they were seated in an unremarkable conference room, sealed away in the hyper-secure FBI building, Devereaux began to lay out a shocking conspiracy, one that ran deep into McDonald's most beloved promotions: the Monopoly game. This is where they began to discover from 1989 to 2001, almost every high-value prize winner was actually illegitimate. But how could this happen and who all was behind it? A rookie FBI agent and a brilliant undercover operation led them to one man who brilliantly crafted a near-infallible nationwide conspiracy for fraud.

Expanded from the wildly popular HBO docuseries with major new interviews, McMillion$ traces this massive crime, the intricate web of lies that bolstered it, and the tireless work of the FBI agents that unraveled it all. It is a story littered with tragedy: families torn apart, betrayals, financial ruin, and one suspicious car crash. Yet, there are bright spots in the hijinks of the FBI agents and their co-conspirators. Ultimately, it is a story of what happens when the American dream goes very wrong.

  • "You will not believe how elaborate, intricate and insidious the McDonald Monopoly fraud of the 90's was. Brian and James weave a story so fantastic you can't believe it's real - but it is! Their HBO series was amazing but here they deliver in a way you can't miss."
    Tom Segura, comedian and bestselling author of I'd Like to Play Alone, Please
  • The McDonald's Monopoly promotional game of the 1980s and 1990s was one of the most successful marketing gimmicks in US corporate history. Millions of Americans played for the chance to win cash, cars, and other big-ticket items. Sales shot up a whopping 40 percent every time McDonald's ran the promotions — but, as exposed in the wildly-entertaining McMillion$ documentary series — the game itself was rigged. For nearly the entire run of the promotion, there were no legitimate winners. Now with this book, all the face-melting details from the documentary series have been expanded with sometimes hilarious behind-the-scenes revelations as a pair of mismatched FBI agents zero in on the criminal mastermind behind the scheme. McMillion$ is a McMasterpiece of the burger crimes genre.
    Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill and American Desperado.

On Sale
Aug 6, 2024
Page Count
336 pages
ISBN-13
9781538720110

James Lee Hernandez

About the Author

James Lee Hernandez is a multi-Emmy® and PGA Award nominated Latinx filmmaker, Signal Award winning podcaster, and co-founder of FunMeter, a TV & Film production company specializing in stranger-than-fiction stories. Hernandez directed, edited, wrote, and executive produced the 5-time Emmy® nominated HBO Original Documentary Series, McMillion$ (Sundance 2020), alongside Brian Lazarte. Next, Hernandez wrote, directed, and executive produced the Apple TV+ Original Documentary Series, "The Big Conn" (SXSW 2022), again with Lazarte, and producing the award-winning documentary "The Herricanes" (SXSW 2023). He also executive produced Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza (Sundance 2024) for Paramount+ and co-hosted the Apple Original podcast, Scamtown.

Brian Lazarte is an Emmy®-nominated Producer, Director and Editor. His work has been seen since 2005 on major networks and streaming platforms, including a variety of award-winning documentaries and series. Most notably: The 5-time Emmy nominated McMillion$ (Sundance 2020) for HBO and The Big Conn (SXSW, 2022) for Apple TV+, which he wrote, directed, edited and executive produced alongside James Lee Hernandez. He is a Signal Award winning podcaster as well as a founding partner of FunMeter, a TV & Film production company specializing in stranger-than-fiction scripted and non-scripted content.
 

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