Copycat Recipe

How to Win McDonald’s Monopoly Game

Todd Wilbur, Food Hacker —

McMonopoly-boardSure, I’ll take a Fiat with my fries. And a cool million bucks would certainly make a Filet-o-Fish taste better. But as I peeled the tiny squares off my soft drink and Micky D’s sandwich the other day I wondered, “Is there a Top Secret Recipe for winning McDonald’s latest Monopoly game?” The company claims that one out of every four game stamps is a winner, so I spent a few days looking for a method of play that would greatly improve my chance of coming out ahead. Rather than cracking a recipe this week McDonald’s 20th edition Monopoly sweepstakes is my latest hack.

Here’s the game: Collect Monopoly game board property pieces, complete a full set and win the corresponding prize. There are a total of $300 million in prizes to be scooped up, and this year McDonald’s has doubled the top prize to TWO 1 million dollar rewards — which you win by finding the Boardwalk property game stamp (#946). The odds on finding one of those stamps are 1 in 306,939,484, so good luck to you on that one. The other property game stamp prizes include:

  • 2013 Fiat 500 Sport Hatchback, 20 prizes (Pennsylvania Avenue #944) – 1 in approx. 158,948,243
  • $20,000, 20 prizes (Ventnor Avenue #940) – 1 in approx. 499,516, 192
  • Delta Vacations Trip, 20 prizes (Kentucky Avenue #936) – 1 in approx. 161,914,024
  • $10,000, 20 prizes (Tennessee Avenue #934) – 1 in approx. 518,330,833
  • Beaches Resort Vacation, 250 prizes (Virginia Avenue #932) – 1 in approx. 12,953,122
  • $5000 prize, 20 prizes (Vermont Avenue #928) – 1 in approx. 578,695,060
  • EA Sports Fan Trip, 20 prizes (Short Line Railroad #950) – 1 in approx. 77,263,275
  • $50 prize, 8,500 prizes (Mediterranean Avenue #925) – 1 in approx. 402,602

I know, I know — these odds are pretty intimidating. But fortunately there are many other, simpler ways to win in this game, such as the instant win prizes printed on the game stamps:

  • 5 different food prize stamps (this is the stuff  you will win most often): 1. Quarter Pounder with Cheese, 2. Medium French Fries, 3. Small Frappé or Smoothie, 4. Regular McFlurry or Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait, 5. Any Breakfast Sandwich (excluding McMuffin)
  • Redbox 1 Night DVD Rental
  • My Coke Rewards 40-Point Bundles
  • 2 Snapfish 5 x 7-inch Digital Photo Prints
  • $10 Arch Card
  • $20 SpaWish Gift Certificate
  • $25 Arch Card
  • Monopoly Millionaire Board Game
  • $50 Cash
  • EA Sports Video Game
  • $500 Cash
  • NHL All-Star Weekend Trip
  • EA Sports Ultimate Game Room
  • $5,000 Cash
  • $10,000 Cash
  • Ultimate U.S. Soccer Family Trip
  • $20,000 Cash
  • EA Sports Lifetime of Games
  • $100,000

Each game stamps also has a code on it that can be entered on McDonald’s Monopoly game site for a chance at one of these online prizes:

  • 40 My Coke Rewards Points (900,000 prizes)
  • Redbox One Night DVD Rental (500,000 prizes)
  • EA Sports $10 Promotion Code (100,000 prizes)
  • $50 Cash (600 prizes)
  • Fathead® $14.99 Promotion Code (500 prizes)
  • SpaWish $100 Gift Certificate (500 prizes)
  • Shop.NHL.Com $25 Gift Card (175 prizes)
  • NHL Hat (100 prizes)
  • NHL T-Shirt (100 prizes)
  • 1,000 My Coke Rewards Points (42 prizes)
  • Beaches Resorts Luxury Family Vacation (30 prizes)
  • $500 cash (20 prizes)
  • 2013 FIAT 500 Sport Hatchback (10 prizes)
  • US Soccer Family Trip (4 prizes)

McMonopoly-productsTWO game stamps (peels) are found on each of the following products:

  • Medium Fountain Drinks
  • Medium and large Iced and Blended McCafé beverages including Smoothies and Frappés (but excluding large Iced Coffee and McCafé Shakes)
  • Hash Browns
  • Oatmeal
  • Egg McMuffin (but not the Sausage McMuffin)
  • Big Mac Sandwich
  • Filet-O-Fish Sandwich
  • 10-piece Chicken McNuggets

But you get FOUR peels on these two products:

  • 20-piece Chicken McNuggets
  • Large FriesMcMonopoly-hashbrowns

The secret to getting the most chances to win the game for the least amount of money is to buy either a medium or large fountain drink (both $1.00 where I live in Las Vegas) for 2 game stamps. To keep it low-calorie, go with the unsweetened iced tea. Your best bet on the food items is either to buy the hash browns at $1.00 a piece (2 game stamps) or the large fries at $2.00 each (4 game stamps). By weight, the large fries is a much better deal than the hash browns, since two orders of hash browns weigh approximately 3.5 ounces, while the large fries weigh in at approximately 7 ounces. You get twice as much fried potato for the same amount of money with the large fries. I call it “potato-nomics.”

Whether you go with the medium or large fountain drink, hash browns, or large fries, your cost per game stamp is 50 cents each. McDonald’s claims that one out of every four stamps is a winner, so you will need to win something worth more than 2 dollars once out of every four stamps you peel. Since most of the winners are food products and most of them are worth more than 2 dollars you have a very good chance of coming out ahead as long as you stick to the 50 cents-per-peel plan, and your win rate is the 1-out-of-4 that McDonald’s claims it should be. Here are the approximate values of the food prizes (which will vary in price from location to location):

  • Quarter Pounder with Cheese – $3.39
  • Medium French Fries – $1.69
  • Small Frappé – $2.49, or Smoothie – $2.29
  • Regular McFlurry – $2.59, or Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait – $1.00
  • Breakfast Sandwich (excluding McMuffin) $2.69

You will, of course, also have a long shot at bagging one of the bigger instant winners and/or winning something online, but the food prizes listed here will be your most common score.

What you don’t want is an average win rate that comes in at less than 1 in 4. You may even get ridiculously unlucky and have a win rate that is MUCH lower than that, which is precisely what happened to me.

McMonopoly-winnersIn my sampling I acquired 100 game stamps. Out of those, only 10 were instant winners! I scored 5 Medium Fries, 3 McFlurry/Parfaits, 1 Frappe/Smoothie, and 1 Quarter Pounder; and I won only 3 times online, all for 40 My Coke Rewards points. Whoop-dee-do. I’ve got every property except for the winning stamps, but I am still way behind the average win rate. Poops on me.

I have to think that any one of you should be able to do MUCH better than I did at this game. Just stick to the lower-priced items and you should come out fat and happy. It seems like it’s almost impossible to do any worse than my brilliant 1-in-10 win rate if McDonald’s 1-out-of-4 winners claim is on the up and up.

In the end, if you feel like you’re losing too many peels, there is a way you can get all of your game pieces for FREE since many get tossed out unpeeled. But you will have to get down and dirty: Slap on a hazmat suit, hop into a dumpster behind your local McDonald’s, and start digging. You’re sure to find dozens of game pieces without spending a dime, and I guarantee that the smell of victory will linger with you for days.

Todd Wilbur, Food Hacker —

New Top Secret Recipes book is a huge eBook!

Super Duper Totally Authorized Top Secret Recipes eBook by Todd Wilbur

450 copycat recipes in Super Duper Totally Authorized Top Secret Recipes eBook by Todd Wilbur

Todd Wilbur will stop at nothing to clone the taste of iconic American foods. If you saw season one of his CMT show, Top Secret Recipe (which aired between Oct. – Dec. 2011), you may have seen him plant hidden cameras in a Mrs. Field’s mall store to record cooking times, dress up as a Domino’s Pizza delivery man to get a special pizza pan, and feign an uncomfortable “affliction” to obtain the necessary liquid nitrogen from a dermatologist’s office to make banana split-flavored Dippin’ Dots.

Now Todd has assembled hundreds of the best recipes from his books into an easy-to-use (and much more portable!) eBook. Finally! Now I can have Todd recipes with me whenever I may need them. The book (which is now offered exclusively for Amazon Kindle, but will eventually be available for Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble Nook) contains over 450 of Todd’s best copycat recipes from his 10 cookbooks that span almost 2o years. He also included several recipes that have yet to be published in a hard copy book, as well as the eight recipes that were created on his CMT TV show Top Secret Recipe, including KFC Original Recipe Chicken and Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls.

The variety of recipes in this collection is impressive: from candy bars to snack cakes, from appetizers to desserts, from cocktails to smoothies, Todd’s book has just about any type of famous food here that you want to mimic.

Here is just a partial list of some of the clone recipes included in the new eBook:

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Panda Express Orange-Flavored Chicken
Outback Bloomin’ Onion
Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp
Carrabba’s Spicy Sausage Lentil Soup
Wedy’s Spicy Chicken Fillet Sandwich
Marie Callender’s Famous Corn Bread
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
Boston Market Meatloaf
Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Snapple Ice Tea
Kozy Shack Rice Pudding
Kahlua Coffe Liqueur
IHOP Pancakes
Ruby Tuesday Apple Salad
Panera Bread Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Souffle
Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink
Hostess Twinkie
Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies
McDonald’s Shakes
Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake
Chili’s Molten Chocolate Cake
Snickers Candy Bar
McDonald’s McRib Sandwich
P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Olive Garden Spinach Artichoke Dip
Planet Hollywood Chicken Crunch
Popeye’s Red Beans & Rice
Starbucks Frappuccino
T.G.I. Friday’s Jack Daniels Grill Glaze
Taco Bell Burrito Supreme
White Castle Burgers

The list goes on and on and the quality of the clones these recipes produce is truly remarkable. But anyone who is familiar with Todd Wilbur’s work already knows that. And it’s great to be able to have the recipes instantly available on my iPhone with the Kindle app that syncs the book with my Kindle device.

If you like any of Todd’s hardcopy books, then you MUST get this eBook. You don’t even need a Kindle to read it since you can get apps that will work with Kindle books so that you can read it on any computer in your browser or on tablets and many smartphones.  And $9.99 is a great price for 450 recipes. Especially if you’ll use them as often as you’ll use these.

To get Super Duper Totally Authorized Top Secret Recipes eBook by Todd Wilbur: Click here.

This 2-Year-Old Can Clone Food!

Find out how to clone Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake in the latest video posted to YouTube by the Culinary Clone King, Todd Wilbur.

In this new episode, Todd turns over his mixing bowl to a cute little 2-year-old girl. Can she make this copycat cheesecake from Todd’s book, Top Secret Restaurant Recipes?

Click on the video below to find out:

You can get the full recipe in Todd’s cookbook for sale here at, along with many other restaurant clones. The recipe is also avaialable on his website.

How to Clone an Oreo Cookie

Todd Wilbur is back with another video and another clone recipe. This time it’s for the world’s most popular cookie – the Oreo!

Watch now as Todd demonstrates how to make a home version of Nabisco’s famous sandwich cookie and then click here to get the full recipe from his website!

How to Clone Signature Drinks

Find out how to duplicate delicious signature drinks from Margaritaville and P.F. Chang’s in this latest video from food cloner Todd Wilbur:

You can get the full recipes for these drinks at Todd’s website:

How to Clone McDonald’s McRib Sandwich

Brand-name food cloner Todd Wilbur demonstrates how to make McDonald’s cult-favorite sandwich from scratch so that when it gets yanked from stores, you’ll still be able to make one at home on the cheap:

Get the full clone recipe (and many more!) at  

How to Clone Outback Victoria’s Crowned Filet

Food cloner Todd Wilbur went on Good Morning America and demonstrated one of the most requested recipes from his latest book, Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3: Outback Steakhouse Victoria’s “Crowned” Filet with Horseradish Crumb Crust.

Check out this video of the show as Todd walks Sam Champion through the steps of this very simple recipe that will surely impress your hungry crew!

Todd explains that making this food at home saves 60 to 70 percent versus eating out. Plus we can now add the ingredients that suit our diet (vegetarian, gluten-free, organic). Good stuff!  

How to Clone Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate from the New Top Secret Recipes Cookbook!

Famous food cloner Todd Wilbur releases his tenth Top Secret Recipes book which is his 3rd collection of original clone recipes to duplicate signature dishes from casual restaurant chains. And it’s his best yet!

In tis video he shares his recipe for one of Oprah’s favorite desserts from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3. All the measurements are specified in the video and the recipe is super easy to make.

It’s also much cheaper to make this at home than to buy it in the restaurant so you’ll save a little money too! Hope you like it:


There are 150 new recipes in Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3, and they are all excellent. The book is in all bookstores now and I found it at for under 11 bucks. Click here to check out the current price.

Top Secret Recipes Author Releases New Book

by Joe Bonwich (reprinted from St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3After college, Todd Wilbur supported himself as a game show contestant, advertising copywriter, TV reporter and commodities broker. But you probably know him best for his cloning work.

That would be cloning recipes, specifically those for famous products or chain-restaurant dishes. Wilbur’s latest cookbook, “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3” (Plume, $16), has 150 new recipes. It is out now.

He’s in St. Louis today and Thursday to appear on local television. He plans to demonstrate copycats of Outback Steakhouse recipes during television appearances at 10 a.m. today on “Great Day St. Louis” on KMOV (Channel 4) and in the 8:30 a.m. segment Thursday on “Fox 2 News in the Morning” on KTVI (Channel 2).

We caught up with him by phone from New York City last week, just after he’d appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I’ve stopped in St. Louis on every one of my book tours since 1993,” Wilbur said.

Despite the “top secret” aspect of the recipes he clones, virtually all of the restaurants welcome the attention, he said. In fact, a previous book tour was sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“People go to these restaurants for convenience, and making these recipes at home eliminates that convenience,” Wilbur said. “They’ll still go to the restaurants for that.”

Wilbur was majoring in theater, journalism and art at the University of Redlands in California when he developed his first ’secret” recipe, replicating the coffee liqueur Kahlua. His motivation: He wanted to impress some women who were big Kahlua fans.

Soon after college he won more than $60,000 in cash and prizes on a short-lived game show called “Break the Bank.” Wilbur sold most of the prizes, providing seed money for his post-college life.

He also went on to replicate Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookies, which led him to develop the recipes for his first copycat cookbook. He spent six years working on that book, allowing him a colorful period of career-hopping.

Blueprints Leaked from New Book!

Famous food cloner Todd Wilbur shares some of his top secret blueprints from his upcoming new cookbook, Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3, which features all-new copycat recipes for signature dishes from America’s most popular restaurant chains.

Author Todd Wilbur draws these schematics by hand in black ink using drafting tools, then scans the art into Photoshop, converts them to blue and adds a noise filter to simulate blueprints. Check ‘em out these early drafts to see if there’s a recipe you’ve been waiting for:

Bahama Breeze West Indies Patties

Bahama Breeze West Indies Patties


Hooters Fried Pickles

Hooters Fried Pickles


TGI Friday's Parmesan-Crusted Sicilian Quesadilla

TGI Friday's Parmesan-Crusted Sicilian Quesadilla

 Top Secret Restauant Recipes 3 will hit bookstores on September 28th.