McDonald’s refuse boy free ice cream

mcdonalds McDonald's refused to give an 11 year old boy a free ice-cream he'd won. He took his voucher to the counter, looking forward to getting stuck into a free McFlurry, but sadly, he was turned away empty-handed.

Rhys, who was turned away, told his mum Gemma Warlow, who was not best pleased. She said that her son had been refused because it was deemed 'gambling', and he's not old enough to gamble. Basically, he'd won his treat through the ‘Monopoly Prize Choice’ promotion.

When trying to redeem his prize, he was told that he needed to be over 16 years old.

Now, this may well be common knowledge to a lot of readers, but we're pretty sure that there's a number of people who were not aware of this ruling. It does raise some questions too.

Gemma has criticised McDonald’s for ostensibly letting children to gamble, but not giving them their winnings. She said: "I understand McDonald’s see the prizes as gambling, but if it is gambling they shouldn’t be giving children the vouchers in the first place. It’s absolutely ridiculous."

"When Rhys told me he had been unable to claim his free ice cream I couldn’t believe it. I went to McDonald’s and asked the cashier myself and he confirmed that they do not give out prizes to children under the age of 16. They can clearly see my son isn’t 16. They should give underage children normal packaging, or if it’s too much bother for them to do that they should be informing them at the time of purchase that if they do win anything they can’t claim it without an adult present."

We're sure that McDonald's isn't doing anything illegal here, but it does seem odd to include children in what appears to be a pretty regular promotion, but refuse them a prize.

Either way, it is worth knowing this, to save you from getting your hopes up. The promotion itself says that all Monopoly promotional materials say that the scheme is for those aged 16 and above, and that Happy Meals do not come with the Monopoly prize stickers.

Basically, if you're 14 years old and win a load of stuff thanks to McDonald's Monopoly promotion, instead of having it out with the staff, get someone older than 16 to claim your prize for you (make sure it is someone you trust though, as they might run off with your winnings, and you won't be able to catch them thanks to all those Quarter Pounders you've snaffled).


  • jim
    someone doesnt read the terms of a competition and gets angry.....
  • boy
    yes, I prefer my ice cream with boys in.
  • bill
    Why didnt she claim the prize on his behalf and then give it to him? After all, I'm sure she probably paid and was the customer/purchaser...
  • Fiyero
    I think it is partly so parents have control over what their children are eating too and McDonalds don't get bad press for giving them extra Calories. McDonalds can't win here!
  • kv
    Bill, that's likely what she did 5 seconds later, but then she couldn't sell her story to whichever rag originally published this.
  • Fat H.
    The little fucker is gambling for sure, with diabetes in later life. LOL
  • Saywhat?
    Can't see it as gambling. Gambling would imply that you have risked something to win something. The tickets are given out as a free extra - you don't pay for them. I suppose it could be argued by some that the kids are risking their health by eating a McDonalds, but that would be stretching the point a bit
  • Father J.
    @bill cos she's a fuckwit, as are all those who eat at maccydeees. Wot Jim said.
  • Voice R.
    I had no idea that a company like McDonalds would ever act so unethically.

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