- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2003

OAK BROOK, Ill., March 6 (UPI) — McDonald's, which posted the first quarterly loss in its history recently, is ready to launch its first promotional game since a $13 million scandal in 2001, and this time the fast-food giant promises new security measures will prevent game rip-offs.

Two years ago, the FBI discovered an employee of Simon Marketing handed out winning game pieces to "Monopoly" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" to ringers who claimed millions in prizes.

It's taken 19 months for the Oak Brook, Ill., corporation to introduce the new game called "Winning Time," which begins at participating McDonald's restaurants March 25.

"We know our customers enjoy playing the promotional games we have developed over the years," said Neil Golden, vice president of U.S. marketing. "With the new security protocols that our Games Advisory Board has endorsed, we can ensure that McDonald's customers will have a fair chance to win exciting and fun prizes when they visit our restaurants."

"Winning Time" will feature bilingual game pieces offering cash, cars, personal services and meetings with celebrity athletes Venus and Serena Williams, who have promotional deals with McDonald's.

McDonald's is spending big on security systems to restore integrity and prevent future game fraud. More than one party will oversee the game, independent auditors will authenticate game pieces and supplies will be changed randomly for each game promotion.

"I am impressed with McDonald's extensive effort to enhance the security of its games," said Dan Webb, a former U.S. attorney and chairman of the Games Advisory Board, created in 2001.

Former Labor Secretary Lynn Martin and former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder also are board members.

The Marketing Store will manage the "Winning Time" game for McDonald's.

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