McDonald's Monopolizes Fun

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If you find yourself making an extra stop or two at McDonald's (NYS: MCD) in the coming weeks, you're not alone.

The burger giant is kicking off its annual Monopoly promotion this morning.

From now through Oct. 24, the world's largest eatery chain will be distributing peel-off game pieces on most beverage cups, some sandwich and chicken nugget boxes, and large french fry containers. Fast-food fans collect matching property pieces to win prizes in Hasbro's (NYS: HAS) classic board game. There are also several "instant win" game pieces to keep infrequent players interested.

The "instant" prizes are largely food-related items, but it's not just about Big Mac freebies.

Many of the same partners from last year's promotion are back. Electronic Arts (NAS: ERTS) , Hewlett-Packard's (NYS: HPQ) Snapfish, and Coinstar's (NAS: CSTR) Redbox are in the prize pool. Coca Cola (NYS: KO) -- the chain's soda fountain partner for ages -- is back with more My Coke Rewards points to dish out.

A new partner this year is Nissan (OTC: NSANY), offering up both a Nissan Z coupe and an eco-friendly Nissan Leaf.

Mickey D's doesn't necessarily need this promotion to keep cars circling through the drive-thru lane. It revealed earlier this month that it has posted 100 consecutive months of year-over-year global same-store sales growth.

It's easy to see why McDonald's has been successful at growing its restaurant-level performance. The chain continues to draw penny-pinchers with its popular Dollar Menu, as it widens its offerings of higher-priced premium salads, chicken breast sandwiches, and McCafe line of smoothies and coffee beverages.

Smaller rivals have tried to emulate McDonald's barbell pricing model, but they haven't come close. Then again, when you're the Boardwalk of burger chains -- in terms of volume of sales, since we all likely agree that there are better cheeseburgers to be had out there -- you don't have to be drawing Chance cards to get ahead.

If you want to track the burger giant as it flips through the next few months, consider addingMcDonald'sto My Watchlist.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Coinstar, and Hasbro. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for HP. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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