Lawyer Wins Monopoly Championship; Plans to Use Winnings to Pay Student Loans
Posted Apr 16, 2009 11:03 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A 26-year-old lawyer from the Buffalo area has won $20,580—the total funds available in Monopoly—for winning the game’s national championship in Washington, D.C.
Richard Marinaccio, assistant counsel at medical-claims administration company Meritain Health, plans to use the money to pay off student loans, the Washington Post reports. Marinaccio also gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to play in the world championships this October, according to a press release.
Marinaccio was one of 28 finalists who got to the championships by passing a test on Monopoly trivia and an exam on Monopoly theory. He also made it through a qualifying round of the game on the Internet. The final four included Marinaccio, a college student, a nonprofit employee and a sixth-grade teacher.
“Marinaccio stunned the crowd with his risky decision to purchase Pacific Avenue early in the game and dedicate his resources to building up the green property group (typically seen as a low priority group by tournament players),” the press release says.
Marinaccio is new to tournament play. He decided to enter the competition after seeing a notice on MONOPOLY.com, and prepared by playing games with his family.
A former world champion who failed to make the finals, Lee Bayrd, complained that the essay questions were ludicrous. "The questions they ask can't be answered," Bayrd told the Post. "Would I rather have all the reds or all the yellows? The real answer is, well, how much time is left? How much money does my opponent have? Where is their current position on the board?"