10-10-2004, 06:17 PM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
World Champ advances to Go, collects $15,000
A Spanish lab technician needed only two hours to amass a small real estate fortune and drive a Norwegian mutual fund manager's railroad empire into bankruptcy to capture the World Monopoly Championship on Saturday.
Antonio Zafra Fernandez, 36, of Madrid pumped his fist in the air after he bested Norwegian Bjorn Andenaes of Oslo in the beloved board game to take home the $15,140 prize -- equal to the amount of play money in a Monopoly set.
"I'm extremely happy and so proud," Fernandez said after hoisting a giant winner's check in the air. He said he and his wife would spend the prize money on a new car, but added: "It's not about the money. I'm going home as a champion, which doesn't happen often in a person's life."
Andenaes, who had worn his Rocky Balboa boxer shorts in training and prepared by memorizing endgame probabilities from a study guide on the Internet, did not have the luck of the dice in the end.
"Luck was the deciding factor," said Phil Orbanes, the tournament's chief judge from the United States.
The companies that sell Monopoly around the world flew players from 38 nations to the Japanese capital for the two-day event, first held in 1973 in Washington.
The four finalists, all dressed in tuxedos, competed Saturday while a Mr. Monopoly -- decked out in a silver mustache, top hat and cane -- hovered near the stage. A real banker managed the tournament's money.
Invented in 1934 by Germantown, Pennsylvania-native Charles B. Darrow, Monopoly is now sold in 80 countries and 26 languages.