The fan favorite sandwich maybe have debuted in the 1980s, but its latest iteration is very 2021.
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Ever since an NFT landed in mainstream headlines by selling for $69.3 million back in March, seemingly every brand on Earth has jumped on the non-fungible token trend, from Scotch to potato chips. The market has quickly become so saturated that most NFT stunts simply elicit a yawning face emoji. But like your grandmother investing her life savings in Dogecoin, sometimes the meeting of past and present elicits a head turn for its pure incongruence… like NFTs and McRibs.

McDonald's McRib sandwich
Credit: Shutterstock

Yes, to help promote the return of the pork sandwich that defined fast food in the '80s, McDonald's has announced plans to give away the American chain's first NFTs: ten "digital versions of the fan favorite sandwich — almost as saucy as the McRib itself," as the brand explains, all in celebration of the menu item's fortieth birthday.

McDonald's McRib sandwich NFT
Credit: Courtesy of McDonald's

The giveaway kicks off the same day the McRib officially returns to participating restaurants, November 1. "Here's how it works," the chain explains, "to enter for a chance to win, make sure you're following @McDonalds on Twitter and retweet the Sweepstakes Invitation tweet any time between November 1 through November 7 from your public account. By November 12, we'll select ten fans who will receive the exclusive McRib NFT to add to their personal collection."

And since the McRib is best known for coming and going like some sort of sauce-slathered comet, McDonald's also adds, "With the McRib NFT, you'll never again have to say goodbye to the sandwich you love."

But you might want to say goodbye to the NFT depending on how much its worth — and since the NFTs are all being given away, that becomes the big question: Does McDonald's have an estimated value on these things? Typically for sweepstakes, companies are required to include the value of the items as part of the official rules. However, McDonald's has told me that since they are giving the NFTs away at no charge, they have no declared value. (For what it's worth, the giveaway is still three days away and the official rules do not yet appear to be published.)

So until these NFTs hit the open market, I guess we'll simply have to speculate wildly. My guess is that they're likely worth less than $69.3 million but probably more than nothing?