Monopoly World Championship tour bus set to roll into Norwich
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 May 2015
It has been played by more than one billion people worldwide and its little green houses and red hotels have been fiercely fought over for 80 years.
The history of Monopoly
• The first version of Monopoly was developed in America in 1933 and went on sale in 1935
• The official setting for the United States version is Atlantic City, New Jersey
• The official setting for Commonwealth versions is London
• International tournaments were first held in the early 1970s
• In the 1970s a braille edition of the game was created
• From 1985 a new series of Monopoly card games appeared
• 1989 saw the first of many Monopoly video games
• Since 1994 other locations have been used as the setting for the game including Norwich
• The Monopoly mobile app has been downloaded nearly 10 million times worldwide
• The last tournament was held in 2009 and the winner was Bjørn Halvard Knappskog from Norway
Now the iconic family board game - commonly found on dinner tables at Christmas time - is on the hunt for a new champion.
Next weekend, when the Monopoly World Championships tour bus rolls into Norwich, fans will get the chance to pass go and qualify for the UK finals of the competition.
The specially designed double-decker bus is fitted with ten Monopoly tables and is searching for the nation’s best player as it visits 12 towns across the UK and Ireland.
The bus will be at Castle Mall in Norwich on Sunday 7 June for the East Anglia regional heat.
Quirky facts about the game
• Monopoly is available in 111 countries and in 43 languages
• It has been played by over one billion people
• The longest game lasted for 70 straight days
• The most expensive version of the game was valued at £1.3million, it featured a 23-carat gold board and diamond-studded dice
• The character locked behind the bars is called Jake the Jailbird
• Escape maps, compasses, real money and files were inserted into games smuggled into prisoner of war camps inside Germany during World War II
• More than six billion little green houses and 2.25 billion red hotels have been made for the game since 1935
• In the early 1950s, the lantern, purse and rocking horse tokens were replaced by the dog, horse and rider, and wheelbarrow
• Tokens from the game were flown into space aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2007
In honour of the 80th Anniversary of Monopoly, the heats will play host to 80 adult competitors and 80 junior competitors who will take part across four heats throughout the day.
The winners from each heat will go through to the regional final later that day, before two winners are crowned - one adult and one junior.
The two winners will represent East Anglia in the UK and Irish final which is due to be held in London on July 19.
The adult winner of this final will then travel to Macau, China where they will compete against champions from across the globe in the World Championships final.
Kay Green, Hasbro UK marketing director, said: “We’re travelling the UK and Ireland searching for the very best Monopoly players and giving fans of all ages the chance to reach the grand final.
“The events are designed for the whole family in mind and are set to be a thrilling competition from start to finish.
“What better way for us to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Monopoly than for a British or Irish champion to bring home the World Championship in Macau.”
The junior category is open to entrants aged 8-17.
Potential competitors must apply for a place in the regional heats at www.monopolychampionships.co.uk. Registration closes on June 3.