Cat in Monopoly Box

Monopoly is always being updated and new versions released.  For example, last year Winning Moves/Bletchley Park announced that a special edition to commemorate the life of Alan Turing was to be released. In this edition, the board’s London landmarks, and its Community and Chance cards, have been swapped for places and events important in Turing’s life and players can move their pieces from his birthplace in Maida Vale to Hut 8 at Bletchley Park.  Alan Turing is undoubtedly one of technology’s heroes — a mathematician and codebreaker who laid the foundation for today’s computing age, and 2012 was the 100th anniversary of his birth, but what is the connection with Monopoly? 

Turing Monopoly
– Image of unknown origin

Well, it turns out that he once played a hand made copy made by William Newman (the son of his mentor Max Newman).  According to the booklet that comes with the set, “One afternoon the Newman household phone rang, with Turing on the other end, asking to speak with William. ‘Did he have a Monopoly board?’ Alan asked, and on hearing that he did, raced round. Turing’s mind was fascinated with codes, and there have long been suggestions he thought there were code-based tactics to playing Monopoly to ensure success. Alas, the hand drawn nature of William’s board (not to mention the unique diagonal straight and ‘turn around’ square) proved otherwise, and the great mathematician was beaten.

– Image by boardGOATS

The connection between Alan Turing and Monopoly may seem tenuous, but in contrast, the way cats have a penchant for sitting in game boxes is well known to all gamer-cat-owners – there is even a game called “The Settlers of CATan”!  Thus, it should come as no surprise that, following a month long poll by Hasbro, the cat has beaten off competition from a robot, a helicopter, a diamond ring and a guitar.  The new cat design received 31% of the total vote and will replace the iron in the next edition which will be released later this year.

So now every Monopoly box will come with its own cat!

Monopoly Cat Token
– Image of unknown origin