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In the 1990s, the McDonald’s Monopoly game was ubiquitous, with widespread marketing drawing millions into the restaurants, everyone hoping to win prizes that ranged from sandwiches to vacations to cash prizes. Less well known is the network of players who were arrested on charges of defrauding McDonald’s out of more than $24 million by manipulating the Monopoly game. An investigation set in motion by an anonymous tip reveals memorable FBI agents, strange and hilarious prizewinners, and a remarkably complex scheme that mirrored the game itself.

First-time docuseries directors James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte present a forgotten American story, whose first wave of indictments took place just days before September 11, 2001—after which, headlines and hearts were focused elsewhere. Presented with humor and compassion, what initially seems like a victimless crime is ultimately revealed to be a conspiracy that continues to affect the lives of the people involved.

The Sundance Film Festival is pleased to show the first three episodes of this riveting docuseries.

YEAR 2019

CATEGORY Special Events


RUN TIME 162 min

COMPANY Unrealistic Ideas

WEBSITE https://www.hbo.com/

EMAIL javier@unrealisticideas.net

PHONE (818) 300-3560


Executive Producers
Supervising Producers
Additional Cinematography
Post Supervisor

Artist Bio

James Lee Hernandez

James Lee Hernandez is a self-taught filmmaker, editor, and musician. His credits include the Emmy-winning documentary series Wonder Women (2017) and the Academy Award–shortlisted documentary short The Other Side of Home (2016). Hernandez has produced, directed, and edited content for Hulu, CrossFit, Tastemade, and Nike.

Brian Lazarte

Brian Lazarte has a variety of award-winning documentary feature and series credits, including Katy Perry: Part of Me, the Emmy-winning series Sonic Highways, and Time of Death, which won the IDA Documentary Award for Best Limited Series. He edited the Sundance Film Festival documentaries Fed Up (2014) and The Price of Free (Grand Jury Prize winner, 2018) and received a Panavision New Filmmaker grant.