Strange Mystery of the Monopoly Man’s Monocle Mandela Effect

Monopoly is a super popular board game, and the source of a conspiracy theory that involves Nelson Mandela. A strange mystery surrounding the monopoly man’s monocle is unraveled in this week’s episode of the Cozy Rainbow Podcast.

This episode’s creative challenge is to draw a cartoon mascot that wears a monocle.

What is a monopoly?

In real life, a monopoly is when one business has complete control over an entire market. For example, a popular grocery store like Walmart can have a monopoly in a small town, if the other grocery stores went out of business.

Monopoly Board Game

Monopoly is also the name of one of the most popular board games in the world.

two kids playing monopoly

Who invented Monopoly?

The game of Monopoly is credited to an inventor named Lizzie Magie in 1904 with the original name “The Landlord’s Game.”

The game was invented as a way to teach players how income inequality happens.

Lizzie Magie worked as a court stenographer, where she did not make enough money to support herself without a husband. She made about $10 a week. Lizzie Magie was a feminist and stood out from many other people at the time with her unique beliefs.

A man named Charles Darrow is also credited with the invention of Monopoly. Charles Darrow played The Landlord’s Game, and then sold the game to the Parker Brothers in 1935 during the Great Depression.

Parker Brothers also owned other games, like Clue and Risk. In 1991, Parker Brothers was bought by the game company Hasbro.

Clue, known as Cluedo in Ukraine

The game of Clue, or “Cluedo” in Ukraine as pictured above.

An journalist and author named Mary Pilon wrote a book all about the history of Monopoly in an impressive 320 pages.

Rich Uncle Pennybags

The Monopoly Man’s real name is Rich Uncle Pennybags. The other characters who appear in monopoly are Officer Edgar Mallory and Jake the Jailbird.

Rich Uncle Pennybags was created in 1935 by a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Does the Monopoly Man wear a monocle?

A monocle is like glasses, only one eye has a lens over it. The Monopoly Man does NOT wear a monocle. 

However, some people claim that they remember the Monopoly Man having a monocle. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “The Mandela Effect,” where a large group of people remember things differently that what actually happened.

The Mandela Effect is named after Nelson Mandela. A large group of people believed that Nelson Mandela died in 1980, when in reality, he died in 2013.

Some other examples of the Mandela effect are:

  • Does Mickey Mouse wear suspenders? (He doesn’t).
  • Is Pikachu’s tail yellow or striped with black? (It’s solid yellow).

Who is Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela speaking in 1990

Nelson Mandela was a civil rights leader that fought against racial segregation. Mandela spent 27 years in prison.

Monopoly Man Mandela Effect Explained

One explanation for why people recall Rich Uncle Pennybags having a monocle is because he wears a top hat, similar to another popular mascot that existed decades before Uncle Pennybags: Mr. Peanut.

Mr. Peanut is the mascot for Planters, an American snack food company.

Classroom Resources