The Famous Monopoly Marathon Game

Samuel Reason

The Monopoly game in the United States of America, historically, is a replica street by street of the famous Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, the game’s truly historical moment may very well have happened in Pittsburgh. It was a Monday, November 27th, 1961 to be exact and four Pittsburgh students sat down to play an amazing game of monopoly. In fact, when they finally stopped playing they had made history.

The students set the record for the longest game of Monopoly ever played, it became known as the Monopoly marathon game. It happened in 1961 when brothers from the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity sat down for a game of Monopoly that went on to the last five whole days straight. The players were Eddie Leeds, Howard Finkel, Allen Paulenoff and Sherman Fogel and as they played the split they decided to pool their resources together and played in teams. It was Leeds and Finkel versus Paulenoff and Fogel, but this caused a rare problem in the game, with the players teaming up it became nearly impossible to knock someone out of the game.

Eddie Leeds will be 70 soon but he remembers the game with surprising clarity. He said someone had a Monopoly board and they started to play – quickly realizing that with 2 teams it was extremely hard to end the game. When the game dragged on from Monday to Tuesday they decided it was impossible to quit playing, so they even called a local newspaper and told them if they wanted to report on the game they could.

A representative from KDKA Pittsburgh local news affiliate turned up on Tuesday and found them still playing. They had to figure out a way to go to class and keep playing so they used other brothers from the fraternity and started to play in shifts. In total there would be over 30 different people who played the game at one point over the course of five days.

But then disaster struck on Wednesday, the Monopoly bank ran out of money! So naturally, the players got in touch with the makers of the game, the Parker Brothers to ask what they should do. The Parker Brothers refused to let the bank fail and took a loan from the players, whilst they sent more Monopoly money by airmail! This led the story to go viral and was picked up by news journals like the Wall Street Journal, and economic professors suggested students go watch the players learn the problems of inflation.

After five days and 120 and a half hours, the longest Monopoly game ever recorded in history was over.

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