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Monopoly champ won't invest in real estate

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Jason Bunn collected enough houses and hotels to become the new world champion of Monopoly, but said he has no intention of investing his winnings in 'real' property.

Jason Bunn, 25, of West Yorkshire, England, said winning at the board game doesn't guarantee winning when there's more than play money at stake.

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'It's not a very good market at the moment,' the British engineer said after driving four other 'wheeler-dealers' into bankruptcy to claim the world title in a game played at the intersection of the real Boardwalk and Park Place.

'I want to invest it somewhere,' Bunn said of his $15,140 in winnings. 'I'll probably blow a little.'

Bunn, who said he has played Monopoly since he was 7 and plays almost every day at lunch, took just an hour and 45 minutes Tuesday to accumulate enough property to wipe out national champions from Japan, Austria, Australia and Peru in the sixth workd championships.

He won a special golden anniverary edition of the Parker Brothers game, complete with $15,140 in cash in place of the play money usually supplied by the manufacturer.

The final game of the three-day competition was played at the Claridge Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, at Park Place and the Boardwalk, the two most expensive pieces of property in the 50-year-old board game.

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'There's no particular strategy to the game,' Bunn said. 'Each game is different. I was quite lucky in this game. The skill comes in the negotiation, the swapping and changing property around. I got to do it at the right price and at the right time.'

Bunn said he would return to Great Britain today and will eventually return to work testing artificial hip joint replacements at Chas. F. Thackray Ltd.

Monopoly-- which incorporates real Atlantic City landmarks and thoroughfares into its fantasy real estate transactions -- was invented in 1934 by Charles B. Darrow of Germantown, Pa., during an oceanside vacation.

Parker Brothers of Salem, Mass., originally rejected the game, but changed its mind in 1935 after Darrow made his own boards and sold thousands through a Philadelphia store. Since then, Parker Brothers has sold 100 million game sets.

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