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October 1, 2014

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Tourists, Vegas residents bring Monopoly game to Strip

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

Finalists and passersby gather around the 25-by-25 foot big Monopoly board in preparation for the start of the Monopoly “Advance to GO” game Monday on the sidewalk in front of Bally’s.

Monopoly on the Strip

Finalists and passersby gather around the 25-by-25 foot big Monopoly board in preparation for the start of the Monopoly Launch slideshow »

Accurate down to the “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards, 33 lucky folks played on a large Monopoly board on the Strip this morning.

In Las Vegas style, the game pieces were showgirls and the atmosphere was fast-paced.

The game was located near Bally’s at the corner of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard. All 33 players won at least $500, and five on the board won prizes from $50,000 to $5,000.

The event titled “Advance to GO, Collect $50,000,” was hosted by Harrah’s Entertainment. Fifty people were selected from Harrah’s casinos across the nation. Seventeen didn’t show up.

The object of the game was to be the first to land on or pass GO. Two rollers landed on Boardwalk – the dark-blue spot one away from GO – creating some stiff competition.

Kim Heinen of Las Vegas was the event’s big winner, bringing home $50,000. She needed to roll a total of eight to win the grand prize.

She got a “3” and a “5.” And then she freaked out.

“I don’t think it has set in yet,” she said while waiting in line at Bally’s to cash in her $50,000 prize. “I’ll believe it when I see my bank account.”

Heinen, who works as a slot clerk at the Wynn, said she text-messaged her sister before the game, saying “I think I’m gonna be last.”

The 26-year-old, who entered the drawing to play through a promotion from Las Vegas Weekly, sister publication to the Las Vegas Sun, said her first expenditure will be a trip for her family to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

“I’ve stopped shaking a little bit,” she said, holding up an unsteady right hand.

Of the 33 players who were selected from the Harrah’s Rewards Club, five got to play the on board. The remaining players received scrolls revealing which player on the board would determine their winnings.

Kelly Flynn played the emcee for the event, following the players around the board and getting their reactions.

Harvey Minkler, 81, of Phoenix won $10,000. He came in fourth.

“It feels good,” he said. Minkler, who flew into Las Vegas on Sunday, added that he plans to “gamble it here, give it all back.”

Third-place winner Karen Shur, of Lincoln, Neb., and her husband, Kurt – who turned 49 last week – swiped their rewards card at Paris Hotel on Friday – Karen’s 50th birthday – and found out she would get to play in Monday’s game.

As for what she’ll be doing with her $15,000?

“I have no idea,” she said, shaking her head and laughing.

Patricia Roser, 70, of New Orleans, said she and her husband come to Las Vegas at least two or three times each year.

This time, she won more than ever before: She came in second, and won $20,000.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “Everybody got to win a little bit of money.”

She said she plans to put her money in the bank and save it.

During the game, all five players were accompanied by a showgirl who wore their monopoly piece – the hat, dog, shoe, car and thimble – in her feathered headpiece.

The $50,000 winner was the thimble.

“I usually pick the car or the dog” when I play, Shur said, clutching her giant novelty check. “I think I’m gonna start playing the thimble.”

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