McDonald’s Is Offering One Lucky Customer The McGold Card, Which Means Free Food For Life

To qualify, you have to download the mobile app and place an order.

mcdonald's is offering a card that provides free food for life
Gene J. Puskar / AP Images

To qualify, you have to download the mobile app and place an order.

McDonald’s is offering one of the coveted, and mythical “McGold Cards” to one lucky winner, guaranteeing that person free food for life, WCAU-TV (Philadelphia) is reporting.

For five decades, McDonald’s has handed out only a few of the so-called mythical “McGold” cards. The lucky holder is entitled to free food for life. But there are two things you need to know: first, they’re exceptionally rare, and second, to get one you have to be a person of some note. The first recipient was the Mayor of St. Louis, who got his underneath the city’s famed Gateway Arch in 1965. Other recipients have included the King of Sweden and the Governor of Michigan.

But now, you don’t need to have a lofty political or hereditary monarchical position to have one. You just need to be lucky – and to download McDonald’s mobile app.

For the first time in its history, the chain is giving away a McGold Card via a sweepstakes. To qualify, you have to download the mobile app, and then place and order and pay for it via the app. Every time you do that, you’re entered into the sweepstakes – although you can only earn one entry per day. You have between August 10 and August 14 to get those entries in.

According to the website promoting the new sweepstakes, it’s not just the coveted card that you get.

“The winner of the McGold card will also be awarded with a customized 24-carat golden phone case to mark their membership into the history and mystery of McGold Card lore.”

The winner will also get a cash prize of $51,000, which the company estimates will work out to about $35,400 after taxes.

Don’t think that you’re going to win the card and then use it to feed your friends, family, and co-workers. Basically what the company is going to do is credit you two meals per week for 50 years, which they estimate will work out to about $1,000. Or, you can just have $1,000 bucks added to your other giant cash prize – but what would be the point of that, since you wouldn’t be a McGold Card holder?

Rob Frankel, a Los Angeles-based branding strategy expert, tells CNBC that he’s not impressed.

“This is going to cost them less than one corporate Christmas party. I don’t think it’s going to do anything to encourage the app usage. You have a much better chance of winning a state lottery than picking something like this up.”

Despite Rob Frankiel’s wet blanket-throwing, the chance to down 5,200 McD’s meals over the next 50 years likely has a certain appeal.