"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese..."

You know the rest. Even if you don't often eat at McDonald's, you know the jingle for the Big Mac. I mean, you're in America, right?

Now the Big Mac is 50, and McDonald's has come up with a pretty insane way to celebrate. Let me make sure I've got this straight:

Starting Thursday, if you go to McDonald's and buy a Big Mac, you get what they're calling a MacCoin--a "global currency," according to Delish, with "five collectible designs, one for each decade the Big Mac has been around." 

Then, after Friday, if you go back to McDonald's again, you can trade the MacCoin for another Big Mac.

So, I have questions.

1. Is this MacCoin thing supposed to be a bitcoin reference? Or some kind of ICO?

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook tells USA Today it's inspired by the fact that The Economist has been using the "Big Mac Index" to compare the power of various countries' currencies.

If there's a hook, I guess it's that you can use a MacCoin to get a free Big Mac in any of 50 countries around the world. This feels like a small demographic to me however: (a) Big Mac fans who, (b) travel internationally, and who (c) are cost-conscious enough to remember to carry MacCoins across the border to pick up their next free BigMac.

2. Is Thursday actually the 50th birthday of the Big Mac?

Actually, no. It was born, so to speak, at a Uniontown, Pennsylvania McDonald's in 1967. Math geeks will note that this means we're actually celebrating its 51st birthday. However, it became a nationwide item the next year.

As for Thursday--that's the day that would actually be the 100th birthday of the guy who created the Big Mac: McDonald's franchisee Michael "Jim" Delligatti, owner of 48 McDonald's around the country.

Reportedly, he ate a Big Mac just about once a week, until he died two years ago, at age 98.

3. Wow, that's a lot of Big Macs, is that the record?

Not even close. The record belongs to Don Gorske, who recently ate his 30,000th Big Mac.

Let that sink in for a second. He ate 30,000 of these things. (And he kept track; he says he has "obsessive compulsive disorder and a meticulous memory.")

4. How many Big Macs have been consumed?

A little tough to figure out, but I can tell you that in 2017, McDonald's sold 1.3 billion Big Macs. Based on the calculations I used to figure out that Gorske's 30,000 Big Macs above weighed the same as about 10 full-grown cows, the 1.3 billion represents more than 400,000 cattle. That's like basically the entire population of the city of Minneapolis.

5. Can you please finish with a nostalgic statistic about how the price of a Big Mac has gone up over the years?

Certainly. As The Wall Street Journal reported two years ago: "The original price was 45 cents, compared with an average of about $5 today."