Meet the Leeds man who owns more than 400 sets of Monopoly

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Leeds taxi driver Jason Bunn is definitely chairman of the board when it comes to the game of Monopoly.

Jason, a 58-year-old grandfather from Meanwood, owns more than 400 different sets of the wheeler-dealing family favourite.

Jason Bunn.

Jason Bunn.

They range from the game’s classic London edition to modern versions with themes including Elvis Presley, dinosaurs, chocolate and, of course, Leeds.

Today Jason celebrated taking delivery of yet another addition to his collection, a recently-released Huddersfield board.

And now he is looking forward to using his new set – which holds special personal significance as he was born in Holmfirth – for a game at a family gathering planned for Christmas Day.

Jason, who is also an expert player of Monopoly and was crowned its world champion during the 1980s, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I’m going to carry on collecting as long as I can.

“One of the things I most enjoy is getting a new edition and seeing which landmark has been chosen for its Mayfair space.

“There are so many versions these days you could go on buying them forever – although you’d need a warehouse to keep them all in!”

Monopoly promoter Graham Barnes said: “Jason is to Monopoly what David Beckham is to football and fashion – an icon who gets mobbed at many Monopoly launches for his signature on a new game.

“He is without doubt one of the world’s best ever players and has a vast collection to boot. We are very proud to have him as an ambassador.”

Monopoly was for many years produced and distributed in the UK by Leeds-based firm John Waddington.

The company became involved with the game soon after it was invented by unemployed equipment salesman Charles B Darrow in the US in the 1930s.

Early in 1935, the firm making it in the States, Parker Brothers, sent a set to Victor Watson, who was running Waddingtons at the time.

He famously gave it to his son, Norman, and said: “Look this over and tell me what you think of it.”

Norman took the set home and started playing a game against himself on a Friday night – and was still going on Sunday evening.

The next morning he persuaded his father to make the company’s first transatlantic phone call and secure Monopoly’s UK rights.

As previously reported by the YEP, an exhibition of toys and games from the Waddingtons archive is running at Temple Newsam House in Leeds until next Sunday, December 23.

The prized Mayfair space on the new Huddersfield edition of Monopoly is occupied by the town’s Castle Hill landmark. Harewood House has top spot in the Leeds edition.