By David Gura

The shortest possible game of Monopoly requires only four turns, nine rolls of the dice, and twenty-one seconds, Daniel J. Myers, a professor of sociology at Notre Dame University, told NPR's Robert Siegel.

(You can read the entire play-by-play after the jump, originally posted on Scatterplot.)

In short, here's what has to happen:

"One player moves around the board very quickly, to buy Boardwalk and Park Place, and places houses on them," Myers explained. "And the other one ends up drawing a Chance card that sends them to Boardwalk, and they don't have enough money to pay the rent with three houses, and the game is over."

So, what is the statistical probability of that particular game happening?

The odds are very, very, very slim.

Statistically speaking, it would happen "once every 253,899,891,671,040 games," Josh Whitford, an assistant professor of sociology at Columbia University, says.

For a long time, Myers and his son have tried to figure out how to shorten length of time it takes to play Monopoly, to refute critics who complain the Hasbro (nee Parker Brothers) board game is a waste of time.

In an interview that will air on All Things Considered today, Myers said he is confident they've figured it out.

There have been some proposals for some that are shorter. So, we're going to have top check those out and see how they actually fare, and if they follow the rules or not. But we're confident we're in the top handful, even if we're not number one.

So, what's next for Myers and his son? They'll try to figure out how to play the shortest game of Risk, which he predicts will be more difficult.

"Making someone go bankrupt isn't quite as complicated as world domination," Myers said.

Here's how to play the fastest theoretical game:

Player 1, Turn 1:

Roll: 6-6, Lands on: Electric Company
Action: None, Doubles therefore roll again

Roll: 6-6, Lands on: Illinois Avenue
Action: None, Doubles therefore roll again

Roll: 4-5, Lands on: Community Chest "Bank error in your favor, Collect $200"
Action: Collects $200 (now has $1700)

Player 2, Turn 1:

Roll: 2-2, Lands on: Income Tax
Action: Pay $200 (now has $1300), Doubles therefore rolls again

Roll: 5-6, Lands on: Pennsylvania Rail Road
Action: None

Player 1, Turn 2:

Roll: 2-2, Lands on: Park Place
Action: Purchase ($350, now has $1350), Doubles therefore rolls again

Roll: 1-1, Lands on: Boardwalk
Action: Purchase ($400, now has $950), Doubles therefore rolls again

Roll: 3-1, Lands on Baltic Avenue
Action: Collect $200 for passing GO (now has $1150), Purchase 3 houses for Boardwalk, 2 for Park Place ($1000, now has $150)

Player 2, Turn 2:

Roll: 3-4, Lands on: Chance, "Advance to Boardwalk"
Action: Advance to Boardwalk, Rent is $1400, only has $1300 = Bankrupt

GAME OVER

categories: Fun

2:32 - June 8, 2010