*(Note: this article is about the 2013 contest. Read all about the 2015 contest here).*

Let’s get this out of the way first: you are not going to win the million-dollar top prize in Albertsons Market’s annual “Monopoly Collect and Win Game” that began this week. But you know that already (especially if you don’t even have an Albertsons nearby).

But you can’t win if you don’t play. So Albertsons shoppers are already collecting game pieces and hoping for the best. That’s even though the odds of winning are astronomical, to say the least.

Back in October, customers of Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Supermarkets and its affiliates were upset when their stores sponsored a similar Monopoly sweepstakes. The advertised top prize was a $250,000 “dream home”, but the biggest prize actually awarded was a $30,000 motorcycle. It seems not everyone read the fine print in the contest rules – not only was there no guarantee that all prizes would be awarded, but the chances of winning a big prize were a lot steeper than they appeared. The odds of winning the “dream home” were listed as 1 in 115 million, but those were just the odds of obtaining the “one rare game piece” needed to win. The odds of getting the other “semi-rare” game piece needed to make a match were 1 in 5000. Together, that made the odds 1 in 575 billion – similar odds to Albertsons’ game.

Turns out you’d be more likely to get hit by lightning half a million times, or win the Mega Millions lottery 3,000 times. You’d also be 5,000 times more likely to get crushed to death by a vending machine. We poked fun at Roundy’s at the time, with the headline “Supermarket Offers Prizes It Has No Intention of Actually Awarding”.

But wait. It turns out that it is possible to beat the odds – without getting hit by lightning or crushed by a vending machine at all. Someone actually won Albertsons’ contest last year.

20-year-old Melissa Varela of El Paso, Texas won the grand prize in May 2012, the first and only million-dollar winner since the contest began in 2009. Varela told the El Paso Times that she was a regular shopper at Albertsons, and once she got into the game, she started coming up with excuses to go and collect more tickets.

The odds of her winning were only slightly better than the odds of Roundy’s coming up with a winner – 1 in 407.5 billion.

So don’t give up. Varela didn’t – even after winning, she said she was so into the game, she wanted to keep on playing. No word from her on whether she’s playing again this year. But consider these odds – her chances of winning the million dollars two years in a row are 1 in 166 sextillion – about the same odds as, well, nothing you can even imagine.

Kind of makes your chances seem a whole lot better now, huh?

*(Note: this article is about the 2013 contest. Read all about the 2015 contest here).*

Amazing how all the years they run these games there are almost no winners on east coast, all winners are out west.

hmmm something is wrong with that picture, i also wonder how many actually know it.

We’re selling V812 (semi-rare, $100,000 Cash Prize) on eBay. If you have V816, you can buy our piece and redeem it for the $100,000 Cash Prize.

Auction link:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALBERTSONS-MONOPOLY-2014-GAME-PIECES-INCLUDING-SEMI-RARE-V812-100-000-PRIZE-/221449537318?

ISO of The other person who has the Monopoly W807 (silk milk) Me I have the other rare W809 We only have until June 10th

If you got p832 or p835 let’s split the winnings

Any body want to slit the winning if you got j854 let me know

Need l848 to win 1000 any want to split the winning.

Need x803 and x805 for 1million if you got it let’s win together

On the vehicle I have all but t820 if you have it let’s win together

For the 40,000 vehicle I have all but t820 if you have it let’s win together

Have x803 and w809. Will sell or split

Kdudleypeix@me.com

I only need x805

Her odds at winning this year are the same as everyone else. The fact that she won last year actually bears no statistical value against her odds for this year, or any future game.

That’s correct, of course. But it depends what’s being calculated exactly. Her chances of winning two years in a row are different – the same way that your chances of getting heads when flipping a coin are 1 in 2, while the chances of flipping a coin twice and getting heads both times in a row, are 1 in 4.

The odds of getting heads after you already got heads in a previous flip are 1 in 2. We already know she won one year, the odds of her winning again the next year are the same as anyone else winning the next year.

The probability of a, given b, is equal to the probability of a AND b divided by the probability of b (assuming b has non-zero probability).

If you consider the two flips independently, then yes. But if you’re calculating your overall chances of flipping heads twice in a row, in just two flips, you multiply your chances of getting one heads and the chances of getting a second heads = 1/4, not 1/2.

Whoever wrote this article needs a serious remedial course in statistics and probability. Don’t just multiply the odds of wining each piece!

Please elaborate?

thanks for this message. yes, what you advise and tell is to me, accurate and correct. I have been, and a very loyal customer of Albertsons, even back to when they were Skaggs/Albertsons. Have been playing this Albertsons game since started in 2009. Few wins, but no major prize yet. However, this year have hit rare /semi rare piece for one of the major prizes. $40,000.00 which will be a split if I have the good luck for someone to pair up with me and get 624E. I have 627E. Albertsons odds for anyone winning the major prizes, seem to me, to be astronomical. I play very hard, knowing a win is going to be very, very rare. Playing because Monopoly was game I grew up with and Albertsons Monopoly is really fun. Still believe I am going to win. emmette econe@sbcglobal.net

If I had the rare piece, why would I give it to you for $40K instead of keeping 1M (pre-taxed) for myself? You are really looking for that really rare idiot!

you totally missed her point she got a 40,000$ piece not a 1M dollar rare piece. who’s looking like a fool now?

For anyone that is playing the Monopoly game check out my auction for FREE game pieces on Listia.com

GuardianGeo,,,,,,thanks for this message…………emmette email econe@sbcglobal.net I am needing 624E to share with someone the $40,000.00 which is one of the Albertsons Monopoly major prizes. again thanks and will try and connect on Listia.com

I have one of the rare million dollar pieces x803. Looking for someone with x805. I’m in Los Angeles. Email me dursbandes@aol.com

How do you know yours is rare? Just because you don’t have it? Just curious….

I am saying I do have that x803 piece. It’s rare but not as rare as x805. They make two rare prices for the million. If you read around there are sites which list rare pieces. Hope that helps.

I have x803 as well. Marcy_Sparkles@yahoo