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Buffalo Resident Crowned U.S. Monopoly National Champion

Richard Marinaccio, 26, of Sloan, N.Y. receives a congratulatory greeting from Mr. Monopoly upon his first place win at the 2009 MONOPOLY U.S. National Championship in Washington, D.C. As the winner, Marinaccio will receive $20,580 (the equivalent in the Monopoly bank) and will represent the U.S.A. at the MONOPOLY World Championships later this year. (Photo: Business Wire)

Richard Marinaccio of Buffalo, N.Y. takes home $20,580 and will represent the United States at the MONOPOLY World Championships in Las Vegas

WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)-- Apr 15, 2009 Richard Marinaccio, a 26 year old attorney from Sloan, N.Y. (near Buffalo) ’PASSED GO’ and collected $20,580 by dominating the 2009 MONOPOLY U.S. National Championship tournament in Washington, D.C.’s historic Union Station. In addition to being named the MONOPOLY U.S. National Champion, Marinaccio won an all-expense paid trip to represent the U.S.A. at the 13th MONOPOLY World Championship tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. this October.

In a final game lasting just under one hour and 15 minutes, Marinaccio bankrupted his three opponents, Brandon Baker of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Dale Crabtree of Indianapolis, Ind., and Timothy Vandenberg of Victorville, Calif. Marinaccio stunned the crowd with his risky decision to purchase Pacific Avenue early in the game and dedicate his resources to building up the green property group (typically seen as a low priority group by tournament players). Pacific Avenue was the secret to his success, however, as the last player to go bankrupt in the game did so by landing on that exact property space.

“I really didn’t know what to expect and came to the Monopoly tournament for the experience,” said Marinaccio. “Once I won my first game in the tournament last night, I thought I had a good shot at winning the championship.”

Making his first appearance at the MONOPOLY U.S. National Championship, Marinaccio is new to competitive game play, with this tournament being his first true competition. It was only in March that he found a posting for the National Championship qualifying rounds on and decided to enter. To prepare for his trip to the finals he played games with his family.

“We are always impressed by the enthusiasm and passion that people around the world have for MONOPOLY,” said Belisa Anzalotti, Director, U.S. Marketing for Hasbro’s game division. “At today’s U.S. National Championship tournament, all of the players demonstrated first rate skill and strategy. Richard Marinaccio dominated at the game table today and we hope that he will be ready to bring home the World Champion title in October!”

The tournament kicked off on April 14, with 28 finalists with varying MONOPOLY backgrounds and experiences representing 16 states and 24 cities. Each player competed in three elimination rounds, and the four with the highest point total competed in the finals on April 15.

For the first time in tournament history, players used the MONOPOLY speed die, the new die now included in the traditional MONOPOLY game to increase the pace of game play. The players continued the tradition of competing on the classic MONOPOLY game board based on the streets of Atlantic City, from Mediterranean Avenue to Boardwalk.

To qualify for the 2009 MONOPOLY U.S. National Championship, MONOPOLY enthusiasts took an online qualifying quiz that tested their knowledge of the game and playing strategy. Seventy-five players were invited to participate in two semi-final online MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition qualifying play sessions on the casual games site These rounds determined the 28 players that competed in the National Championship.

The first MONOPOLY World Championships took place in Washington, D.C., in 1973. Since then, 12 MONOPOLY tycoons have earned the title of World Champion. World Champions have come from 10 countries, including Spain, Italy, Japan, Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. The last champion, Antonio Zafra of Spain, earned the title in 2004 at the World Championship in Tokyo.

The 2009 MONOPOLY World Championship will take place on October 20 to 22, 2009 in the entertainment and deal making capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nev. The best MONOPOLY players from more than 40 countries, including the 2009 U.S. Champion, will gather at Caesar’s Palace Hotel to try their hand at winning the international title. Tournament organizers are planning live streaming on to capture all the fast paced tournament action where players are often bankrupt in less than 30 minutes! More information about the World Championship will be released in upcoming months.

In 2009, Hasbro will release a new edition of MONOPOLY that will keep aspiring tycoons on their toes. MONOPOLY Family Game Night: Championship Edition introduces tournament rules and scoring to the home, inviting families to run their own nail-biting competitions. The game includes a customizable MONOPOLY trophy for the at-home champion. The Championship Edition will be available in Fall 2009 for an approximate retail price of $19.99.

Through a strategic alliance with Electronic Arts (EA), fans can also play MONOPOLY on an array of digital platforms including the Wii™, Xbox 360™, PlayStation®2, PlayStation®3,, iPhone™, iPod® touch, as well as a variety of mobile phones.

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Since 1935, more than 250 million copies of MONOPOLY have been sold in 103 countries and 37 languages. More than 200 different editions of the game have been published, but the most popular continues to be the classic "Number Nine." Affectionately known by its original product number, "Number Nine" is based on the streets of Atlantic City and is nearly identical to Charles Darrow's original submission to Parker Brothers. The MONOPOLY name and logo, the distinctive design of the game board, the four corner squares, the MR. MONOPOLY name and the character, as well as each of the distinctive elements of the board and playing pieces are trademarks of Hasbro for its property trading game and game equipment. © 2009 Hasbro, All Rights Reserved. About HASBRO
Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at © 2009 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.