McDonald’s is marking the 50-year anniversary of the Big Mac and the 100th birthday of its creator with a new currency – the ‘MacCoin’ – which can be be exchanged for a free Big Mac for the rest of this year.
The coins can be picked up by anyone buying one of the classic burgers at any of the participating stores across the globe, starting from Thursday 2 August.
The way they work is simply enough – basically, each coin can be handed in and swapped for a free Big Mac for the rest of 2018. Feeling hungry yet?
The August release date of the coin was especially selected to coincide with the birthday of the late Jim Delligatti, an early McDonald’s franchisee in Pennsylvania, US, who invented the iconic burger 50 years ago.
He died in November 2016 aged 98 and would have turned 100 on Thursday. What an absolute LAD – big fan of your work, Jim.
Since he conceived of the burger in the late 1960s, it’s become a worldwide phenomenon and is now a stalwart symbol of the fast food giant. McDonald’s say they sold a staggering 1.3 billion Big Macs last year alone.
Grand Big Mac
The burger even has its very own museum, which was opened in 2007 and is home to the ‘World’s Largest Big Mac’, measuring 13 ft across and 14 ft high, as well as a life-size gold statue of its creator.
Ever the humble hero, Delligatti once said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1993 that he could not accept full credit for the invention of the Big Mac and he never received any royalty payments for his part in the creation of the legendary burger.
He said: “This wasn’t like discovering the lightbulb. The bulb was already there. I just screwed it in the socket.”
According to his son Michael, Jim ate a Big Mac every week. Bit like the rest of us then.
The MacCoin, a coin embellished with the number 50 and an image of the burger, is not the first time McDonald’s have ventured into the world of financial markets.
In 1986, financial newspaper The Economist starting using ‘The Big Mac Index’ as a way of measuring the buying power of different currencies by comparing the price of a Big Mac in different markets.
Much like the release of the Grand Big Mac earlier this year, which sold out at unprecedented speeds in stores across the country, it is expected the MacCoin will supersize the sales of the classic burger. I mean, surely the only thing better than one Big Mac is two.
Is it lunchtime yet?