Jason Olson, Deseret News
Matt Ramone, left, Burgandy Flammer, Elizabeth Jenkins, top, and Natalie Mitts join record-setting Monopoly game at BYU Wednesday.

PROVO — Pink dice jumped and kicked across a pink game board on a brown folding table outside the Brigham Young University bookstore early Wednesday morning and instantly became part of a world record.

Similar dice simultaneously tumbled across game boards around the world — London, Madrid, Tokyo, more than 20 cities — and an estimated 3,361 players established the first Guinness record for most people playing Monopoly at the same time.

Exactly 48 of those players, many of them the very freshest of a new crop of BYU freshmen, sat in brown folding chairs and played from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. They played under tents along what is now being called "Wilk Way," the area between the campus library and the BYU bookstore inside the Wilkinson Student Center.

The entire scene was a publicity stunt for a new version of Monopoly, the World Edition, but the pink dice and board belonged to the hit game board of the morning, the decidedly pink and girlish Boutique Edition. Only two sets of the female-friendly edition were available, and they were coveted like the first spot in line at a big sale.

"When I saw it, I was certain it was going to be mine," 22-year-old BYU public relations major Elizabeth Jenkins said.

It was, too. She could buy malls instead of hotels, get text and instant messages, pay cell phone bills and buy a candle shop or a candy store. The game pieces are a pair of sunglasses, a flip flop, a hair dryer, a cell phone, a purse, a dog, a soccer ball and a skateboard.

At the other pink board, Russia native Kseniya Kashina quickly ran out of money. The 23-year-old chemical engineering major was pummeled by her friend and co-worker at the library, Randi Barron, 21, of Long Beach, Calif.

The pink edition clearly brought the inner girl out in each player, but the normal financial perils of Monopoly irked Kashina.

"You Americans are such capitalists," she complained when Barron asked her to pay off her debts.

Kashina's game piece was the flip flop.

"With as little money as I have, that'll be the only thing I'll have left to get around," she complained.

Then things got worse. Barron got a text message that said, "Hot boy band in town. Collect $50 from each player."

That was $50 Kashina didn't have.

"If time runs out and you still haven't paid me," Barron said, "you're going to owe me in real dollars."

When a small windfall allowed her to pay her fake debt to Barron, Kashina blew a very real sigh of relief.

The youngest player was Brittany Page, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Sprucewood Elementary in Sandy. Her brother is a public relations major at BYU. The student-run Bradley PR Agency got paid for every person it brought to the event.

She played the new World Edition and loved buying pyramids instead of hotels for her two properties, Taipei and Gdynia.

"I like the credit cards," she said of the edition's new feature — no paper money, just electronic cards. "They're cool. They carry all your money so you don't have to."

The World Edition properties are 22 cities selected by 5.6 million online voters. Montreal is the new Boardwalk, and Riga is the new Park Place. Many of the cities have been or will be Olympic hosts — Beijing, Barcelona, Tokyo, Montreal, Rome, Vancouver, Sydney, Athens, London, Paris.

"I've heard of a lot of them, but I've never been to any," young Page said.

The oldest player was Jay Larsen, 54, of Orem, who learned of the event from a newspaper.

A passel of freshmen enjoyed the distraction on their first morning in Provo. The fall semester begins next week, and new-student orientation began Wednesday night.

Caroline Benac, 18, a freshman in microbiology from Dallas, led a game with four male students because she was the only one who knew the rules cold. She played a lot of Monopoly in a family of 11, much of it "late, late into the night" on the floor in the family's garage, converted to an art studio for her sister.

"My dad's pretty intense about it," she said. "He's not fun to play with. He'd mortgage all of his properties, spend all his money on properties. You'd think he was down but he'd come back. It's pretty scary."

The new World Edition was released a week ago. The Boutique Edition was part of an exclusive holiday set of pink games released by Toys R Us last year.


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