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McDonald's Has a Special Christmas Gift for Big Fans

The fast-food giant is making something available that many people did not even believe was real.

The whispers around the McGold card are not dissimilar to Willy Wonka's golden ticket -- it is part of food culture lore and opens up the doors to every child's dream world of a lifetime of free McDonald's  (MCD) - Get Free Report. Few, however, have actually seen one in person.

While rumors around its existence date back at least to the 1980s, the McGold came into prominence when actor Rob Lowe flashed it on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel's show in 2015. 

The shiny gold color automatically gives the card an air of exclusivity and entitles the holder to free food for a month, a year or sometimes even a lifetime. Other famous McGold card holders have included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mitt Romney.

In time for the holidays, the Golden Arches unveiled its "SZN of Sharing" contest that gives those who place orders in its app the chance to buy exclusive clothing and win different prizes. 

Answering Those McGold Rumors With A Contest

While the majority will secure little other than free food or merchandise like the Chicken McNugget stockings or Hamburglar hoodie, three winners will receive the fabled McGold card offering holders two McDonald's meals a week for the next 50 years (technically not "life" if the winner is young and lives longer.)

"Our fans have been fascinated by the lore of the McGold Card and if it really exists," McDonald's Chief Marketing Officer Tariq Hassan said in a statement. "And now, we'll make this McDonald's legend a reality for our fans by giving them the ultimate holiday gift -- a chance to win a card and then share access to it with three of their family or friends."

Gold Card winners also receive three additional cards to give away to family or friends. That means that a total of 12 McGold cards are being put out into the world. 

The last time McDonald's opened its gold card up to the general public (celebrities like Lowe got it as gifts or having friends high up in the McDonald's worlds) was in 2018 when it launched a similar contest.

While rumors of a truly unlimited gold card still abound, the one given out back then was also valid for two meals a week and was estimated to be worth $52,350. Of course, inflation over such a long period of time makes such a number difficult to calculate.

So How Do I Get My Hands On That Gold Card?

To get a chance at winning the McGold, fans need to spend a minimum of $1 on the McDonald's app every day between December 7 and Christmas. Those who do will get a series of rotating deals such as a Double Cheeseburger for 50 cents or the chance to buy a puzzle featuring McDonald's dipping sauces.

Those who make a purchase through the app will also be automatically entered for a chance to win the elusive gold card. It is no surprise that the promotion is only available for online purchases as, like most fast-food chains, McDonald's has been on a mission to drive customers away from in-store sales and toward using the app.

That's why most will offer various exclusive deals and promotions only available through the app -- in March, McDonald's gave those using the app the chance to secure packets of the equally-elusive Szechuan Sauce. 

The spicy-sweeet sauce was launched in 1997 for the Disney  (DIS) - Get Free Report movie Mulan and, in the few rare instances that McDonald's brought it back, has been known to cause fighting crowds.