McDonald's, the world’s largest restaurant chain, serves more than 69 million customers every day.
One of those patrons may have the proverbial ‘luck of the Irish’ and be served up a solid gold milkshake cup worth about $90,000.
The cup, or actually cups, are part of an effort by McDonald's to capitalize on its beloved seasonal Shamrock Shake to raise money for its namesake nonprofit, Ronald McDonald House. The chain has put one of the cups up for bid on eBay, starting at $1. The auction ends on Friday, March 6, with all proceeds going to charity.
There is an identical 18 karat golden cup — replete with 50 emeralds and white diamonds along with "golden arches" studded with 50 yellow diamonds — that patrons can win by entering a sweepstakes (no purchase necessary).
The much loved minty green Shamrock Shake was created 50 years ago by a McDonald's franchisee and slowly grew in popularity over the decades. By 2012 it was available in all 50 states and is now a seasonal staple at almost every McDonald's, and there are a lot of them — about 37,800 outlets throughout the world.
Ironically, the first Ronald McDonald House was funded through sales of Shamrock Shakes in Philadelphia in 1974. The nonprofit helps families with chronically sick children by giving them support and a low-cost place to stay while the little ones are undergoing treatment at hospitals and medical centers. The McDonald's nonprofit has since branched out to provide immunizations and check-ups to children in underserved communities.
As for the Shamrock Shake — that 820 calories of creamy mint goodness with a cherry on top? It will be off the menu after St. Patrick’s Day is over. But never fear. Given that McDonald's has sold about 600 million of the drinks, it is very likely Shamrocks will magically reappear for a 51st year on schedule.