Often the best true crime documentaries are those that focus on cases that seem almost too bizarre to be true – and that much is certainly true of the story at the heart of McMillions, a new docuseries coming to Sky Documentaries and NOW TV.
The series explores a case that came to the attention of the FBI in 2001 and concerned McDonalds, Monopoly and the Mafia.
Here’s everything you need to know.
McMillions UK release date on Sky and NOW TV
The series originally aired stateside on HBO, but all six episodes will be coming to UK TV screens on Wednesday 27th May, available exclusively on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV.
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What is McMillions about?
The full true story of McMillions is bizarre and incredible. The series chronicles the story of a huge scam which took place from 1995 and 2001 and became the focus of a major FBI investigation, regarding the infiltration of McDonald’s famous Monopoly promotion by a group of fraudsters.
The scam was orchestrated by a figure known as “Uncle Jerry” who made use of his position at Simon Marketing (the firm responsible for the promotion) to steal the most valuable game pieces and personally choose the winners – several of whom were his own friends and family.
However, as the documentary explores, “Uncle Jerry” soon got in over his head – with the scam soon involving a cast of shady characters with ties to the Mafia, and ended up with over 50 people being indicted.
The programme speaks to the FBI agents involved in the investigation but also to some of those caught up in the scam – presenting a very sympathetic view of some of those who didn’t realise what they were getting into.
Directors James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte told RadioTimes.com, “We always look at this story as, well you can look at it is a sort of very black and white, there’s the FBI and there’s criminals and criminals get what they deserve. But when you look underneath the hood you see that really these are just good people who just made bad decisions.
And the director duo added that since the series aired in the US they’ve had very positive reactions from those that they spoke to for the programme. “Everyone was very positive about it,” they said.
“From the FBI side they were happy that people could see what work goes into something like this and have it be real and not just a sensationalised piece like in a movie.
“And from the criminal side of it you have people like Gloria Brown (one of the docuseries’ subjects who was involved in the scam) who was so happy that her part of the story is now fully known. So they were all very positive of it and we’re really happy that they thought it was a true telling of their story.”
Is there a trailer for McMillions?
You can get a taster of what’s to follow in the below clip…