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20 McDonald's Facts That May Surprise You Did you know a chicken nugget once sold on eBay for $8,100?

By Grace Reader

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Allard Schager | Getty Images

McDonald's is one of the most recognizable names and franchises in the world. From the red and gold color scheme to the famous Big Mac and Happy Meal, you'll struggle to find those who have not at least heard of McDonald's, let alone not even tried it. With such a big history and reach, there are bound to be interesting and wacky stories coming out of McDonald's. Here are 20 interesting facts that may surprise you about the food chain giant.

1. On the original McDonald's Menu, a hamburger cost only 15 cents.

On May 15, 1940, Dick and Mac McDonald's opened the first-ever McDonald's store in San Bernardino, California. While you can still score a McDonald's hamburger there for only a dollar, back then people were only paying 15 cents for a menu item.

2. A chicken nugget was once sold on eBay for $8,100.

Why? The chicken nugget resembled George Washington. Twenty-three people bid on the three-year-old nugget. EBay generally has a rule against selling expired foods, but it made an exception.

The woman selling the nugget, Rebekah Speight, said she was raising money for summer camp for children at her local church.

3. McDonald's sells more toys than Hasbro and Mattel.

McDonald's sells around 1 billion toys every year 1.5 billion toys worldwide -- more than Hasbro or Mattel sell individually. McDonald's has also pledged to make their toys more sustainable, using less plastic and more recyclable materials.

4. Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams worked on the "I'm Lovin' It" song.

McDonald's "I'm Lovin' it" theme song is performed by Justin Timberlake, who made an estimated $6 million for the jingle.

Timberlake wasn't alone: in 2003, Pharrell Williams produced an "I'm Lovin' It" EP which topped the charts in Belgium.

5. McDonald's Will Soon Offer Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Restaurants

In March 2024, McDonald's announced that it would be partnering with Krispy Kreme, making three types of Krispy Kreme doughnuts available at certain McDonald's locations later this year and nationwide by the end of 2026. This will more than double Krispy Kreme's points of access.

6. McDonald's employees can attend Hamburger University.

Hamburger University is a global training program with campuses across the world, including campuses in Chicago, Hong Kong, Sydney, Hamburg, Tokyo, China, Singapore and Dubai. McDonald's records show that more than 300,000 employees have attended since the program first started in 1961.

7. Usain Bolt ate 1,000 chicken nuggets during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

When Bolt was asked if he was worried about getting fat, Bolt told CNN, "Hell no. That's one thing I'm determined not to have. I have a bet with a couple of people."

However, he has noted that as an Olympic athlete, he has cut down on fast food and started eating more vegetables.

Related: McDonald's CEO Says That 'Affordability' Is on the Way as Company Struggles Through Sales Slump

8. McDonald's once made the Big Mac even bigger.

In April 2016, McDonald's rolled out their Giga Big Mac in Japan, which is essentially two burgers stacked on top of each other.

"It's a novelty item. It's meant to be shared," a McDonald's spokesperson told TIME.

9. McDonald's Indonesia has a wedding catering package starting at around $200.

McDonald's Indonesia now caters to weddings! Packages start at just around $200 and require a 200-piece minimum (100 McChickens and 100 4-pack McNuggets, for example). You can customize your catering order for an additional cost, and if proven successful, we can see something similar in the U.S.

10. One man has eaten a Big Mac every day since 1972.

Donald Gorsky holds the Guinness World Record for the most Big Macs consumed. He has had at least one Big Mac a day since 1972, totaling 34,000 Big Macs in his lifetime.

11. At a Swedish ski resort, you can ski thru a McDonald's.

If you're looking to burn off some calories, "McSkiing" is the way to do it.

Lindvallen, a ski resort in Sweden, has been allowing snow enthusiasts to ski through its McDonald's location since 1996. Check out this commercial that features the ski-thru.

12. Over 10 years, 700 claims were filed for burns due to McDonald's coffee until one famous lawsuit.

In 1992, a woman spilled coffee on herself while sitting in the passenger seat of a car at a McDonald's drive-thru, getting third-degree burns as a result. She sued McDonald's and was awarded nearly $3 million, which was lowered to $640,000.

Documentation was released by McDonald's showing that there were more than 700 claims by people burned by coffee between 1982 and 1992.

13. McDonald's operates in 98 countries.

Even though McDonald's has a strong presence overseas, North Korea and Iceland are among the countries without a McDonald's. (McSad!)

According to the World Atlas, there are about 195 countries in the world. McDonald's is currently located in 98 countries.

14. The world's largest McDonald's is in Orlando, Florida.

Even though the Orlando location was already the largest franchise, the store upgraded to 19,000 square feet in 2016. The store includes a bowling alley, arcade games and slides for children. The location even frequently hosts concerts and gator shows.

15. Stars such as Jay Leno and Pink worked at McDonald's before becoming famous.

Pink, Rachel McAdams, Jay Leno and Shania Twain have all claimed to have worked at McDonald's. Leno even returned to the same McDonald's for a special on 60 Minutes, where he showed off his burger-flipping skills.

16. McDonald's airlifted burgers to homesick athletes during the 1968 Olympics.

Athletes in Grenoble, France requested burgers from McDonald's during the 1968 Olympics to feel less homesick. Eight years later, McDonald's became an official sponsor of the Olympics and even has an Olympic swimming pool in Los Angeles, California.

17. More people eat McDonald's every day than there are people in the United Kingdom.

Approximately 70 million people are served every day at McDonald's, which is approximately 1 percent of the world population. According to Yahoo Finance, the population of the UK is around 68 million people.

18. McDonald's sells 25 percent of Filet-O-Fish sandwiches during Lent.

McDonald's started selling a Filet-O-Fish in the 1960s when a Cincinnati franchise owner wanted Catholics to be able to eat on Friday at his store during Lent.

Today, 25 percent of McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sales are during Lent.

Related: McDonald's Is Bringing Back This Supersized Menu Item and Fans Are Divided

19. One location has teal arches rather than golden arches.

Golden Arches and McDonald's go hand-in-hand. However, one location sports teal arches. The McDonald's on Highway 89A in Sedona, Arizona, has teal arches because local officials were concerned that golden arches would detract from the natural aesthetic of the Red Rocks. Teal was determined to be a softer color than the "harsher" gold.

20. The King is sort of a McDonald's franchise owner.

While you can expect to see castles, hotels and race courses on the King's Crown Estate, turns out, you can also expect a McDonald's. That's right, King Charles III is technically a franchise owner of a McDonald's restaurant in Oxfordshire, England, which sits on a small corner of the massive estate. The restaurant passed to him when the crown passed to him.


On the original McDonald's menu, a hamburger cost 15 cents.

On May 15, 1940, Dick and Mac McDonald's opened the first-ever McDonald's store in San Bernardino, Calif. While you can still score a McDonald's hamburger there for only a dollar, back then people were only paying 15 cents for a menu item.

From the Fish Filet to the Big Mac, today's menu boasts a variety of items to choose from. Back then, things were much simpler, with the only food options being a hamburger, a cheeseburger or french fries. That's right: McDonald's didn't even have McNuggets back then.

Rebekah Speight | eBay

A chicken nugget was once sold on eBay for $8,100.

Why? The chicken nugget resembled George Washington. Twenty-three people bid on the three-year-old nugget. EBay generally has a rule against selling expired foods, but it made an exception.

The woman selling the nugget, Rebekah Speight, said that she was raising money for children at her local church to go to summer camp.

David Paul Morris/Stringer | Getty Images

McDonald’s sells more toys than Hasbro and Mattel.

McDonald's sells around 1.5 billion toys worldwide -- more than Hasbro or Mattel sell individually.

McDonald's has started to include books instead of toys in Happy Meals, placing more books in kids' hands than those catalogued in The Library of Congress, the world's largest library.

Mike Moore/Stringer | Getty Images

Ronald McDonald is more recognizable than Santa Claus.

According to the book Fast Food Nation, Ronald McDonald is identifiable by 96 percent of children around the world, which would make him the only fictional character more recognizable than Santa Claus.

Despite claims that the clown targets young children, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook says Ronald isn't going anywhere.

Michael Campanella/Stringer | Getty Images

Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams worked on the “I’m Lovin’ It” song.

McDonald's "I'm Lovin' it" theme song is performed by Justin Timberlake, who made an estimated $6 million for the jingle.

Timberlake wasn't alone: in 2003, Pharrell Williams produced an "I'm Lovin' It" EP which topped the charts in Belgium.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

McDonald’s employees can attend Hamburger University.

Hamburger University is a global training program that an estimated 7,500 students attend annually. McDonald's records show that around 80,000 employees have attended since the program first started in 1961.
Cameron Spencer | Getty Images

Usain Bolt ate 1,000 chicken nuggets during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

When Bolt was asked if he was worried about getting fat, Bolt told CNN, "Hell no. That's one thing I'm determined not to have. I have a bet with a couple of people."

However, he has noted that as an Olympic athlete he has cut down on the fast food and started eating more vegetables.

Related: 5 Uncomfortable Questions Asked at McDonald's Company ...

McDonald's Japan

McDonald’s once made the Big Mac even bigger.

In April 2016, McDonald's rolled out their Giga Big Mac in Japan, which is essentially two burgers stacked on top of each other.

"It's a novelty item. It's meant to be shared," a McDonald's spokesperson told TIME.
McDonald's Hong Kong

You can have your wedding party at McDonald’s in Hong Kong.

If you're living in Hong Kong and looking to get married at McDonald's, you're in luck. For $9,999 you can enjoy a Love Forever party, french fry picture frame included.

What to know what a wedding party at McDonald's might look like? See for yourself.
Guinness World Records

One man has eaten a Big Mac every day since 1972.

Donald Gorsky holds the Guinness World Record for the most Big Macs consumed. He has had at least one Big Mac a day since 1972, totaling 26,000 Big Macs in his lifetime.

Gorksy told WQAD that he has also had a Big Mac in every state.

McDonald's/Sverige

At a Swedish ski resort, you can ski thru a McDonald’s.

If you're looking to burn off some calories, "McSkiing" is the way to do it.

Lindvallen, a ski resort in Sweden, has been allowing snow enthusiasts to ski through its McDonald's location since 1996. Check out this commercial that features the ski-thru.
Richard Lautens | Getty Images

Over 10 years, 700 claims were filed for burns due to McDonald’s coffee -- until one famous lawsuit.

In 1992, a woman spilled coffee on herself while sitting in the passenger seat of a car at a McDonald's drive-thru, getting third-degree burns as a result. She sued McDonald's and was awarded nearly $3 million, which was lowered to $640,000.

Documentation was released by McDonald's showing that there were more than 700 claims by people burned by coffee between 1982 and 1992.
McDonald's

There is a McDonald’s in all but 75 countries.

Even though McDonald's has a strong presence overseas, North Korea, Bolivia and Iceland are among the countries that don't have a McDonald's. (McSad!)

According to the World Atlas, there are about 194 countries in the world. McDonald's is currently located in 119 countries.

McDonald's | Oerther

The world’s largest McDonald’s is in Orlando, Fla.

Even though the Orlando location was already the largest franchise, the store upgraded to 19,000 square feet in 2016. The store includes a bowling alley, arcade games and slides for children. The location even frequently hosts concerts and gator shows.

60 Minutes

Stars such as Jay Leno and Pink worked at McDonald’s before becoming famous.

Pink, Rachel McAdams, Jay Leno and Shania Twain have all claimed to have worked at McDonald's. Leno even returned to the same McDonald's for a special on 60 Minutes, where he showed off his burger-flipping skills.

McDonald's

McDonald’s airlifted burgers to homesick athletes during the 1968 Olympics.

Athletes in Grenoble, France, requested burgers from McDonald's during the 1968 Olympics to feel less homesick.

McDonald's became an official sponsor of the Olympics eight years later -- and even has an Olympic swimming pool in Los Angeles, Calif.
Carsten Koall | Getty Images

McDonald’s feeds around 1 percent of the world’s population every day.

Sixty-eight million people are served every day at McDonald's, which is approximately 1 percent of the world population. McDonald's sells an average of 75 burgers a second.
McDonald's

McDonald’s Caesar salad is about as unhealthy as Big Mac.

McDonald's Keep Calm, Caesar On salad has 520 calories in it -- only 20 less than a Big Mac. More surprising is the amount of sodium in the salad -- 1,140 mg. The recommended daily average sodium intake is 2,300 mg per day.

McDonald's

McDonald’s sells 25 percent of Filet-O-Fish sandwiches during Lent.

McDonald's started selling a Filet-O-Fish in the 1960s when a Cincinnati franchise owner wanted Catholics to be able to eat on Friday at his store during Lent.

Today, 25 percent of McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sales are during Lent.

Related: 'McDonald's of the Future' Includes All-You-Can-Eat Fries
McDonald's

McDonald’s hosts an American Idol-style “Voice of McDonald’s” competition.

The 2015 winner of Voice of McDonald's contest is Lucy Ospitia. She received a $25,000 prize.

The final competition was judged by big names in music including Grammy Award-winning composer David Foster and Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Skylar Grey.

Bethany Clarke / Stringer | Getty Images

The Queen is sort of a McDonald’s franchise owner.

While you can expect to see castles, hotels and race courses on the Queen's Crown Estate, turns out, you can also expect a McDonald's. That's right, the Queen is technically a franchise owner of a McDonald's restaurant in Oxfordshire, England, which sits on a small corner of the massive estate.

Grace Reader

Contributor

Grace Reader is a former editorial intern at Entrepreneur.com and a current freelance contributor. She is a third year journalism and media communication major at Colorado State University. Grace is the PR and marketing manager at Colorado State University's Off-Campus Life, and a sports anchor at CTV Channel 11. 

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