(WYTV) – Here’s the history behind one of our favorite board games: Trivial Pursuit.
Two Canadian newspaper editors, Chris Haney and Charles Scott Abbott, created the game on December 15, 1979. Haney and Abbott were friends and came up with the idea when playing Scrabble and drinking beer.
They wanted to design their own game and did.
The design of the game board is based on a ship’s wheel with spokes leading to the center. 18-year-old Michael Wurstlin created the artwork.
Wurstlin was unemployed at the time and took the job because his unemployment insurance had run out.
He now runs an advertising agency in Toronto. Haney and Abbott had to spend $75,000 to create the first Trivial Pursuit game board, the pieces and to print the cards.
34 people invested their money after many others had turned down Haney and Abbott. Those lucky 34 are now earning five digit dividend checks. Trivial Pursuit went public in 1981 but didn’t start to make a profit until 1983.
Over the years, people in 26 countries have bought more than 100 million copies of the game in 17 languages. It comes in 50 editions from Star Wars to Baby Boomer to Country Music and it’s still producing new editions.
Trivial Pursuit has made $2 billion. Chris Haney and Charles Scott Abbott became wealthy men.
Haney died in Toronto at age 59 in 2010. Abbott lives in Canada and owns a hockey team and racing stables.