The original Monopoly game, called The Landlords Game, was created by a Macomb native, Elizabeth "Lizzy" Magie. To honor that connection, Adam Kozlowski, owner of the Kozmic Game Emporium in downtown Macomb, is holding the first "Lizzy Magie Design A Board Game Contest."
“We just thought it would be fun to celebrate her and that interesting connection to Macomb and another thing that makes Macomb kind of special and unique,” said Kozlowski.
Kozlowski said Magie patented her game in 1904. She tried to sell it on her own and didn’t get very far. She then attempted to sell it to the Parker Brothers, who denied her.
Kozlowski said it wasn’t until 30 years later, when she sold her patent and it reached the Parker Brothers again, that it became known as Monopoly. He said Monopoly went on to become one of the most popular board games in history.
The contest has three categories:
- Children ages 12 and under;
- Ages 13 to 18;
- Ages 19 and over.
Those ages are for the people entering the contest, not the age for players of the game.
“There will be a first prize in each of those categories and then there will be a grand prize winner for the whole event,” Kozlowski said.
“The grand prize winner will not be a first prize winner in one of the three categories.”
He said most younger kids create games on their own when they get bored. He said the contest gives them (and anyone else) the chance to have their games played by people around the world.
This contest is Kozlowski’s first step. He would like to take it a bit further in years to come on Macomb’s Courthouse Square.“One of the dream goals is maybe to turn the square into a Monopoly board and race around the Monopoly board or something like that.”
Magie made more than one game and was a board gamer so he thought the contest was a good way to celebrate her 130th birthday, which is May 9, 2016.
Contest entries are due by April 25. Winners will be announced at a reception on May 9.