HBO’s set a February 3, 2020 premiere date for the six-part documentary series, McMillions, an in-depth dive into the McDonald’s Monopoly Game fraud. Subsequent new one-hour episodes will air on Mondays at 10pm ET/PT.
James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte wrote and directed the docu-series, with Hernandez, Lazarte, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Archie Gips executive producing.
HBO’s released the following synopsis of the series along with descriptions of the series’ first three episodes:
“McMillions transports viewers back into the 1990s, before the scam’s revelation and the ensuing media coverage were overshadowed by the events of September 11th, 2001. Featuring archival footage of McDonald’s television commercials and actual FBI sting footage, alongside vivid interviews and dramatic recreations of events, the series weaves together a highly entertaining account of a daring scheme and its undoing. Unravelling the twisted threads of the fast-food fraud, the story is told by the intrepid FBI agents determined to solve the case and the real-life characters for whom a winning ticket was too good to turn down and who took a bet that they could get away with stealing from Ronald McDonald.”
McMillions Episode Details:
- Episode 1 – Debut date: MONDAY, FEB. 3 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
In 2001, FBI Agent Doug Mathews of the Jacksonville, FL branch clocks an intriguing post-it note that piques his interest. The anonymous tip speaks of a con surrounding the much-beloved McDonald’s Monopoly game and a mysterious mastermind behind it all: a man going by the moniker of “Uncle Jerry.” With the help of McDonald’s employee Amy Murray, the investigation, codenamed “Operation Final Answer,” prompts Agent Mathews to propose an unorthodox undercover sting involving a video production crew. The operation tests nerves but leads to an early breakthrough in what promises to be a bizarre but unforgettable case.
- Episode 2 – Debut date: MONDAY, FEB. 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Hoping to unmask the mysterious “Uncle Jerry,” the FBI investigates two prominent figures they believe are connected to the scam. The first, Jerome “Jerry” Jacobson, is a former cop who left the force on disability and started working security for Simon Marketing, the company hired to run the McDonald’s Monopoly game. The second, Gennaro “Jerry” Colombo, hails from a notorious East Coast mob family and is no stranger to unsavory activities. Meanwhile, Agent Mathews and McDonald’s employee Amy Murray team up once again to pay a visit to prior winner, Buddy Fisher, who sweats and mumbles through his story about “winning” a million dollars as their cameras are rolling.
- Episode 3 – Debut date: MONDAY, FEB. 17 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Frank Colombo, the brother of Gennaro “Jerry” Colombo, reveals the inner workings of the scam whereby “Uncle Jerry” would sell the winning tickets to Gennaro “Jerry” Colombo for a premium. Colombo would then find willing takers for the game tickets in exchange for a cut of the prize money. Under the pretense of organizing a reunion for past winners, the undercover FBI video crew interviews Gloria Brown, a single mom and million-dollar “winner” in South Carolina, who tries to obscure her past in Jacksonville and the origins of her winning game ticket. Gennaro “Jerry” Colombo and Robin Colombo seek to diversify their recruitment operation as worries grow about obvious connections among “winners”, and Jerome “Jerry” Jacobson continues to breathe down their necks. Arguing in the car one night, with their infant son Francesco in the back seat, the Colombos face sudden danger.