Monopoly – the world’s most famous board game which now includes the world’s 22 most popular cities after an internet vote – with Waterford narrowly missing out on a place on the board.
Though not quite as big a surprise as to why the city by the Suir remained off the TV3 weather map for so long, Ireland’s oldest city was just a wild card selection away from making the cut.
Sadly, Waterford will not feature in the inaugural world edition of Monopoly, despite strong local support for the Deise metropolis.
An air of gloom hung over Monopoly-loving areas of the city as the news broke – well, not quite. But it surely had a few locals contemplating a strongly-worded letter to the editor or even a phone call to Joe Duffy or Billy McCarthy – or both!
During a six-week period earlier this year, Monopoly fans the world over voted online for the global cities that they would like to see represented on the first-ever world edition board.
More than 5.6 million votes were cast for 70 cities, with the top 20 cities automatically awarded a space and the two brown spaces secured via a wild card vote.
Both Waterford and Cork were in the race for the final slots but were beaten to it by Tapei and Gdynia (in Poland).
Montréal represents the most expensive property on the new board, the slot traditionally held by Shrewsbury Road on the Irish version, while, after intense lobbying, the Latvian capital Riga joins the Canadian city in the dark blue property group.
Dublin finished 22nd in the vote and if the votes had been tallied per capita, our capital city would have come in at number eight, taking the space now occupied by Beijing.
Ireland still plays a part in the game thanks to a photo of the Halfpenny Bridge which is among the images on the board. Not only that, a new Community Chest card will permit players to be able to host a Saint Patrick’s Day party in Dublin.
Produced in Hasbro’s Waterford plant, the new version of the bestseller provoked great interest, according to Anne Dermody, the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager.
“I am sure that Irish people will enjoy buying, selling and trading real estate from around the globe in this new and exciting Monopoly game that they created with their votes,” she said.
“The fact that Dublin was so close to making the board shows the passion of the Irish people. When the vote was first launched we thought that we had no chance up against the big cities in the world but after two days we were in second place and felt we really had a chance.”
As for the crest-fallen Waterford Monopoly fans out there, one presumes an All-Ireland hurling final victory two Sundays from now might soften the blow, somewhat.