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Monopoly Guy’s Presence Dramatically Improves Senate Hearing

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If you were probably watching this morning’s Senate hearing on the Equifax hack, you may have seen something out of the corner of your eye and asked, “Did I just see Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly sitting behind the Equifax CEO?” Yes, yes you did.

The real-world incarnation of Uncle Pennybags (you can just call him Mr. Monopoly) — complete with morning suit, fancy white mustache, monocle (non-canon*), cane, bowtie, and a sack marked “$” — made an appearance today on Capitol Hill, as a member of the gallery in a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith was delivering testimony about the massive Equifax breach to the Senate for the second time in as many days at the hearing. However, the true star of the proceeding was the photobombing viewer seated just in camera range behind him.

No, this wasn’t some sort of guerrilla marketing by Hasbro. In fact, this Uncle Pennybags was a woman, Amanda Werner, who manages Public Citizen’s campaign against the use of forced arbitration — the practice of stripping customers of their right to sue the companies they do business with.

The stunt, done in tandem with Americans for Financial Reform, was intended to “to draw attention to forced arbitration rip-off clauses, used by Equifax, Wells Fargo and other financial companies to evade accountability and take advantage of consumers.”

The “man” was, in fact, a woman — Public Citizen’s arbitration campaign manager Amanda Werner — and with her top hat, mustache, monocle, and props, she has instantly shot to the top of the internet’s list of “Favorite-Ever Person Spotted In A Congressional Hearing.” At least, for today.

CNBC captured a gif of the dapper gentleman with his signature chapeau:

Several Twitter users also caught moments of joy from Mr. Monopoly. One favorite moment was the mustache-twirling:

But the winner, for internet mirth, has to be the moment Mr. Monopoly pulled out his oversized novelty “Get out of Jail Free” card:

Public Citizen says that Werner also delivered the “get out of jail free” cards to this week’s Wells Fargo hearing as well as all 100 Senators’ offices.

*(Technically the real deal never had a monocle, but many of us misremember him that way — in the same way millions of us incorrectly think we read “Berenstein” Bears books.)

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