Burger King Docks Onto Santa Monica Pier for a Zesty ‘Million Dollar Whopper World’ Pop-Up

Burger King's "Million Dollar Whopper Contest" has quickly become an effective way for fast-food patrons to engage with the burger giant. Photo credit: Burger King

Fast-food juggernaut Burger King has devised a creative method to foster engagement with not only its dedicated base, but fast-food patrons across the world. The burger chain, which has seen ebbs and flows in popularity since being established in 1954, has launched its “Million Dollar Whopper Contest” — a keenly 21st century-inspired and interactive outlet for imaginative minds to throw out ideas for not just any Whopper, but the ultimate whopper of a Whopper.

An artificially intelligent companion sets some ground rules (i.e., no peanuts or crustacean shellfish and edible food only) and provides guidance on the type of patty (veggie or beef) to be chosen and three to eight toppings to be added to BK’s patented sesame-seed bun. When it’s all said and done, AI will magically manifest the vision to be submitted, the hope being that it will be abundantly eye-catching to earn a stupendous and, for most people, life-changing $1 million dollars (cue the Austin Powers franchise’s Dr. Evil wryly pressing his pinky finger against his lips).

One million may not be as bountiful as it used to be due to inflation; however, it is nonetheless incentive enough to spend no more than a few minutes entering the contest. If nothing else, it’s a worthwhile flex of one’s mental muscles. Another reason to get involved in what is amassing a prodigious social-media buzz is the physical advert, “Million Dollar Whopper World,” a Santa Monica Pier-situated pop-up where visitors on only a single weekend — Saturday, February 17th and Sunday, the 18th — can get appropriately hands-on with a range of exclusive toppings. The not-available-in-restaurant culinary accoutrements include smashed avocado, jalapeños, chili crisp aioli, and pickled red onions, to name a few.

Further to that is the one-of-a-kind opportunity to try a Whopper not found anywhere else but in Santa Monica. Dubbed the — you guessed it — “Santa Monica Whopper,” it is a Cali fresh and spicy spin on Burger King’s signature sandwich that guests of the immersive installation can enjoy. The amalgamation of Monterey Jack cheese with birria, pickled roasted fresno chili slices, and other complementary add-ons is sure to be a hit for those visiting the pier.

Supplementing the “Whopper World” experience will also be a live D.J. set, prizes, games, photo-ops, and mementos in the form of guests’ uniquely conceived “Million Dollar Whopper” proposals printed on a free-of-charge T-shirt.

Overall, as much as the intent of Burger King’s campaign has been to spur awareness of the brand, it has — more importantly — stirred excitement about the possibility of reinventing the Whopper one ingredient and bite at a time.

Visitors to the Santa Monica Pier can visit the “Million Dollar Whopper World” pop-up on Saturday, February 17th and Sunday, February 18th from 12 pm to 6 pm. For more information about Burger King’s “Million Dollar Whopper Contest,” visit BK.com.


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