Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.00.

Drat!

There are a few board games that virtually everyone has played. At some point you took the box out of the closet, put it on the kitchen table, opened it up and....there it is: stacks and stacks of money! But to keep that money? And to get everyone else's?

Well, grab the race car...or the thimble...or the shoe, and off we go!

It's a great memory for many of us, sitting around the table with Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister and spending an hour (no wait, that isn't right...hours!) buying property, collecting rent, trading spaces on that magical Monopoly board.

And now, Monopoly turns 80! What do ya say? To celebrate, let's buy Reading Railroad!

One of America’s most popular board games, Monopoly, celebrates its 80th birthday this year. The Smithsonian has a copy of the game in its “American Enterprise” exhibit that dates back to the 1940s.

Charles S. Darrow filed the copyright on the board game and received it on December 31, 1935. The game was already a financial success for him because he sold his rights to the game to Parker Brothers, who started manufacturing the game as soon as it became theirs. By Christmas of that year, Parker Brothers had sold a quarter of a million copies of the game. By the same time the next year, that number had more than doubled, to 1.8 million copies, providing them a profit margin of two million dollars.

It is interesting to note that the Darrow game was heavily influenced by The Landlord’s Game, a game created by Elizabeth Magie and patented in 1903. Since the advent of Darrow’s game through Parker Brothers, other games have tried to pass it in popularity. There was even one released in the 1970s by economist Ralph Anspach called Anti-Monopoly. The objective of that game was that the players were lawyers trying to break up monopolies.

Parker Brothers filed a complaint against Anspach for violating their trademark, but he did retain his right to sell Anti-Monopoly.