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With McGold Card Game, McDonald’s Goes Full Wonka

Can most people even eat this much McDonald's?

Mike Mozart Flickr

McDonald’s is getting ready to Willy Wonka the fast food game by giving away one of their coveted McGold cards to an unsuspecting customer. McDonald’s clients who order from McDonald’s using the mobile order-and-pay app between August 10th and 24th are immediately entered into the sweepstakes. Why is this exciting? Because the holders of McGold cards get free hamburgers, milkshakes, and almost anything else they want for the remainder of their lives (or, put a different way, until their doctor informs them that they have dangerously high blood pressure).

The existence of McGold cards is a sort of fast food “ancient secret.” Rumors have persisted for decades, but few people have ever gotten their hands on one. Those people? Bill Gates, George Romney, and Warren Buffet if you’re willing to trust likely untrustworthy accounts. In various corners of the internet, it is believed that Gates has the only card that grants him totally free meals at every location. For Buffet, Romney, and whoever wins the sweepstakes, there are apparently some minor limitations.  (Buffet’s car only works in Omaha and Romney’s card, which was actually pink and a personal gifts from McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, had geographic limitations as well).

How do we know that McGold cards are real? Because local franchises have actually hooked people up in the past (and because Mitt Romney shot his mouth off). The most famous example: A man named Charles Ramsey was given a McGold card in 2013 when he dropped his food to foil a kidnapping plot in Cleveland. Heroism, in that case, led to free french fries — as it always should.

The new McGold card sweepstakes will be the first time a totally random non-rich, non-heroic will receive the honor of carrying the card. Granted, this card is not quite as cool (“Free McDonald’s for life” is understood to mean “two meals a week for 50-years“), but that’s still something. 

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