Food, Travel and Tech

McDonald's is giving away free 6-piece McNuggets for the item's 40th anniversary—here's how to order

Nathan Stirk | Getty Images News | Getty Images

They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but that's only if you don't have the McDonald's app on your phone.

The fast food giant is giving away a 6-piece McNuggets to every customer on Wednesday, Jan. 18 in celebration of the item's 40th anniversary.

To get the free nuggets, customers will need to download the McDonald's app and create a free account. From there, they will be able to select the "FREE 6pc Chicken McNuggets, no purchase necessary" deal on the app's landing page and check out.

The deal is available today only, and can be redeemed only once per customer.

Though McDonald's has been around since 1955, the now-iconic McNuggets weren't invented until a full three decades into its lifespan.

Chicken McNuggets, seen here in 2003, have been a staple of McDonald's menu since 1983.
Chris Hondros | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Per McDonald's own company lore, the product was a byproduct of research that the company's former executive chef, René Arend, was doing while trying to create onion nuggets.

During the development process for the onion nuggets, McDonald's chairman Fred Turner told Arend to work on chicken instead, and the team pivoted to the McNugget.

Within a year of adding it to US menus in 1983 — first in 6-piece, 9-piece and 20-piece denominations, according to the company — McDonald's began making the product available worldwide.

You can download the McDonald's app here.

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