When you think of board games, Monopoly is one that generally comes to mind. It is a game that has not only survived all these many years, but is stronger than ever in 1988. Sales this year are expected to top three million - more than three times the sales rate of the 1950s.

And that's not all the Monopoly madness we find. This year comes news of:The book: "The MONOPOLY Companion" ($5.95, paperback, Bob Adams Inc.) features history, anecdotes, trivia and playing secrets of the game - all from Rich Uncle Pennybags' point of view.

The game show: ABC has signed an agreement for a Monopoly game show with King World Productions (producers of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and the Oprah Winfrey Show).

The movie: Batfilms has signed an agreement to produce a major feature-length movie based on Monopoly, staring Rich Uncle Pennybags. The movie, expected to be released during the summer of 1990, will combine live action with animation.

According to Uncle Pennybags and "The MONOPOLY Companion," more than 100 million Monopoly games have been sold around the world to date. The game is marketed in 80 countries and printed in many languages.

But, according to Pennybags, most people play the game incorrectly. The most common error is awarding money to players who land on "Free Parking." This puts more money into play, lengthening the time needed to complete the game.

The book contains some other interesting bits of trivia:

- During World War II, escape maps, compasses and files were inserted into Monopoly games smuggled into POW camps in Germany. Real money for the escapees was slipped into the packs of Monopoly money.

- The most expensive set ever produced was a Dunhill game with solid gold playing pieces and a $25,000 price tag. In 1978, Nieman Marcus offered an all-chocolate version for $600.

- Each year, the makers of Monopoly produce more than twice as much play money as the U.S. mint does real money.

- The longest Monopoly game ever played (with substitutions) took 59 days. The longest played on the back of a fire truck lasted 101 hours; in a bathtub, 99 hours; upside down, 36 hours.

Most people have played the game at some time or another. But just how much do you know about Monopoly? Here's a little quiz to test your knowledge:

1. A COMMUNITY CHEST Card will likely:

a. move you to another space

b. cost you money (a penalty)

c. give you money (a reward)

2. A CHANCE Card will likely:

a. move you to another space

b. cost you money

c. give you money

3. How many rolls of the dice are normally required to make a complete circuit of the board?

a. 4

b. 5

c. 6

d. 7

4. You own Illinois Avenue. An opponent owns Indiana. You land on Kentucky. Should you buy it?

a. yes

b. no

5. You complete your first circuit of the board and land on Income Tax. On the circuit you earn $350 from Chance and Community Chest and paid no penalties or rents. Should you pay 10 percent of your assets or a straight $200 tax?

a. 10 percent

b. $200

6. You go to Jail at a time when eight properties remain unsold. No monopolies are formed. Should you pay $50 and get out of Jail on your very next turn or stay in and just roll?

a. pay $50 and then roll

b. just roll

7. You acquire all the Light Blue properties and form the first monopoly in the game. You have $450 in cash. What is the minimum number of houses you should build per Light Blue property?

a. none

b. one

c. two

d. three

8. Which of these properties is most likely to be landed on in a typical game?

a. New York

b. Illinois

c. Boardwalk

9. Which of these monopolies is most likely to be landed on in a typical game?

a. the Railroads

b. the Dark Blues

c. the Reds

10. Is it better to own the Oranges and three hotels or the Yellows with three houses each?

a. Oranges with hotels

b. Yellows with houses


1. c; 2. a; 3. c; 4. a; 5. b (you also earned $200 for passing GO. 10 percent would be $205); 6. a (early in the game, get out of jail; later in the game, being is jail is better than paying penalties); 7. c (if you have the first monopoly, you only need keep $150-$200 on hand to pay penalties; buy houses with the rest); 8. b; 9. a; 10. a.