Monopoly at McDonalds Advertises that San Diego is the Luckiest City


I agree. Watch the new McDonalds video, read my reasons on why San Diego is the luckiest city, and then share your thoughts on why we are the luckiest city in the U.S.

Monopoly at McDonalds

This McDonalds commercial caught my attention over the weekend during the NBC Sunday Night Football Game when I heard ‘San Diego’.

Looks like we’ve got a new resident moving into town because San Diego has the most sweepstakes winners and the fewest lightning strikes. Gotta like those odds. Update: McDonalds took the video off air now that the Monopoly promotion has ended. Basically, the commercial shows two buddies, one of whom is going to move to San Diego because it has the fewest lightning strikes and most sweepstakes winners so he feels he’ll be lucky once he moves to San Diego.

I hadn’t heard about San Diegans having great odds for winning sweepstakes but it doesn’t surprise me based on all the stories I’ve gathered as a tour guide in San Diego, some of which I share below. I’m certainly not surprised we have the fewest lightning strikes because we rarely ever have a lightning storm but don’t let that fool you into thinking most San Diegans know how to stay out of harm’s way. Since it is such a rarity (seems from my experience over the 14 years I’ve lived here that there is maybe one thunderstorm a year that I can at least hear somewhere off in the distance), I’ve seen many people ‘race outside’ to enjoy the rare spectacle.

Why San Diego is the Luckiest City

Here are a few stories about people from San Diego hitting it big with a little luck on their side:

Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) – The founder of one of the world’s most used web sites is Jimmy Wales. Before Wikipedia’s time, it’s eventual founder Jimmy Wales moved to San Diego and set up a small internet hosting business in Pacific Beach. He had an idea to create an online encylopedia called Nupedia that was being created by experts in their respective academic fields. However, after a lot of time and money being spent on the project, they had little to show for it. That’s when a lucky opportunity struck. Larry Sanger, who was running Nupedia for Jimmy Wales, got together for dinner at the former Mama Mia’s in Pacific Beach with an old friend Ben Kovitz who had just moved to San Diego. Ben started sharing with Larry the new concept called wiki’s. A week later Wikipedia was launched so anyone on the internet could help work on the project and the rest is history.

Jewel – The signer Jewel was living out of a van and performing in a local coffee shop in Pacific Beach before she got discovered. Word about a surfer girl with an amazing voice singing on Thursday nights made its way to a friend of a friend who happened to know someone at Atlantic Records…and again, the rest is history.

Charles Brandes – Charles Brandes, one of the most successful investors in the country and owner of the most expensive home in San Diego County, which the County Assessor initially valued at $60 million before it was challenged, was a young stockbroker in La Jolla when a retired guy walked in the door and offered to mentor him. Who happened to walk in that fateful day when Brandes was in charge of handling the walk-ins? Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffet’s mentor, who had just moved to La Jolla to enjoy his retirement.

There are many interesting people in San Diego who have had fortuitous opportunities. What are your stories about lucky San Diegans?

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