(NEXSTAR) – A select group of lucky McDonald’s customers are about the hit the McGold mine.

Beginning next month, McDonald’s is offering its customers the chance to win one of three McDonald’s McGold Cards, entitling them — and even their friends — to free McDonald’s food “for life,” according to the company.

“Our fans have been fascinated by the lore of the McGold Card and if it really exists. And now, we’ll make this McDonald’s legend a reality for our fans by giving them the ultimate holiday gift — a chance to win a card and then share access to it with three of their family or friends,” said McDonald’s executive Tariq Hassan, in a statement included with a Tuesday press release.

To enter for a chance to win the “McDonald’s for Life” sweepstakes, customers can make purchases in the McDonald’s app between Dec. 5 and Dec. 25, automatically earning one entry per purchase when enrolled in the MyMcDonald’s Rewards program. Others can enter for a chance to win (no purchase necessary) at the official alternate entry site beginning Dec. 5.

Three grand-prize winners will receive a McDonald’s McGold Card, “with a value of $1,040 per year for fifty years” to be used at participating locations, as well as an additional $22,285 “to help offset taxes,” according to the official rules. Alternatively, the winner can choose to receive a McGold Card valued at $1,040, and take the rest ($50,960) in the form of a check, along with an additional $22,285 to offset prize taxes.

Each winner can also choose up to three friends to receive the same prize, albeit without the $22,285 to offset taxes.

Why? Because “McDonald’s tastes better with friends,” the company claims.

The value of the McDonald’s McGold Card is based on two meals per week for 50 years — or somewhere around $74,000, according to the contest’s official rules. (McDonald’s)

See the official rules for additional details and restrictions.

The existence of a McDonald’s McGold Card has been rumored for decades. Back in 2007, Warren Buffett told CNBC he carried one (or something similar) in his wallet, which entitled him to free McDonald’s at any Omaha location. Years later, actor Rob Lowe revealed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that he was given one by a friend whose father was a franchisee, though it was only valid for a year, and only at Santa Barbara-area locations.

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More recently, Regis Philbin’s own son-in-law revealed during a podcast appearance that the late TV presenter earned “a gold-colored credit-card thing” as a bonus for appearing in a McDonald’s commercial, but rarely had luck redeeming any fast food with it.

“The cashier would just stare at it, confused,” said Philbin’s son-in-law Mike Schur, who recounted his wife’s childhood memories on “The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz” in August 2022.

“It never worked, because everyone … it was just a very confusing object, because it’s not a thing that anyone has,” Schur said.

In addition to its “McDonald’s for Life” sweepstakes, McDonald’s is celebrating the holidays with exclusive merchandise offers for app users, as well as daily deals on some of its most popular menu items. The latter deals are only available through the end of December, however, because clearly nothing McGold can stay.