Downtown Detroit turns into a Monopoly game

Francis X. Donnelly
The Detroit News

Detroit — If the guy with the big head looked familiar, you can blame your childhood.

Yes, that was Mr. Monopoly in downtown Detroit Saturday, seriously overdressed in his top hat and gloves.

He was promoting the beginning of a contest that will turn downtown into a version of the board game over the next nine days.

Detroit is one of six cities involved in the scavenger hunt, which will distribute $1 million in prizes.

'Mr. Monopoly.' aka Marcus Goddard, of Detroit, poses for a selfie with Patience Moss, 13, of Franklin, Ohio. Ally Financial facilitates a Downtown Detroit Monopoly scavenger hunt where Mr. Monopoly is giving away prizes, including money, free food and drink vouchers and game tickets.

That's $1 million in real cash, not Monopoly money.

The contest is sponsored by Ally Financial, a Detroit bank that says it will be a fun way to teach people money management.

Investment advice will be dispersed during the playing of the game.

"Thinking about money and how best to manage it can be daunting," said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing officer for Ally. "Gamification is proven to help."

To play, residents use their phones to take photos of Monopoly spaces set up throughout downtown. When they enter the picture online at Monopoly, will tell them what to do next.

'Mr. Monopoly.' aka Marcus Goddard, of Detroit, poses with Areal Collins, on-air personality and producer on MIX 92.3 Detroit. The game, which continues through Oct. 28 on line at, kicks off at Cadillac Square across from Campus Martius, Saturday, October 19, 2019.

When players spy Chance or Community Chest spaces, they'll have an opportunity to win a new Jeep Wrangler.

They also could win 1,500 prizes every day, including cash awards of $200 and $500.

The game already had a winner before it started. Ally is donating up to $50,000 to Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, which said it prepares young people to succeed in a global economy.


Twitter: @francisXdonnell