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Englishman Becomes World Monopoly Champion

September 25, 1985 GMT

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Table-top tycoons from three continents were forced into bankruptcy Tuesday by a wheeling, dealing Briton who won the World Monopoly Championship here in the city that gave the 50-year-old game its identity.

Jason Bunn, 25, of Leeds, England, outfoxed finalists from Austria, Australia, Japan and Peru to win the championship and more than $15,000 in real money on the golden anniversary of the popular game now available in 19 languages.

The medical company engineer bested reigning champion Greg Jacobs of Australia in the 13/4 -hour final at the Claridge Hotel and Casino.

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Tournament officials said the site was picked because the game board still bears the names of this resort’s streets, borrowed in 1935 by game creator Charles Darrow.

Bunn, his coffers full of colorful paper money and most of his properties holding rent-hungry hotels, achieved monopoly when an unlucky roll of the dice landed Jacobs on New York Avenue.

The property carried a whopping $700 rent and Jacobs, already mortgaged to the hilt, couldn’t come up with the cash.

″I don’t know if it was exciting for you to watch, but for us it was really intense,″ said Bunn, who began playing Monopoly at age 7.

The victory earned him $15,140, exactly the amount of funny money contained in a regulation Monopoly set. On hand for the presentation was Esther Darrow, widow of the game’s inventor.

The competition that drew players from 20 countries began with local tournments sponsored by the companies that sell Monopoly in 32 nations, said tournament director Chris Campbell.

The U.S. champion, 35-year-old Jim Forbes of Winter Haven, Fla., was eliminated in earlier rounds Sunday and Monday at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

″I think you have to be a little bit vicious,″ said Forbes, an accountant. ″What I do on the board there, I do for actual clients every day.″

Bunn’s Monopoly philosophy is a tad less aggressive.

″It’s just something to do on a lunchtime,″ he said.