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Fascinating facts about the invention of the
Yahtzee®
board game by Edwin S. Lowe in 1956.
YAHTZEE®
AT A GLANCE:
Yahtzee® was invented by a wealthy Canadian couple to play aboard their yacht. Whenever friends were invited aboard, they were taught how to play the "Yacht" game. Their friends enjoyed the game so much that they all wanted copies of their own. In 1956, the couple approached Mr. Edwin S. Lowe, a toy maker. They asked him to make up a few samples of the game for gifts. Lowe liked the game so much that he offered to buy the rights. They agreed to sell the rights for the price of the first 1,000 games produced so they could fulfill their friends requests. Lowe eventually changed the name of the game to Yahtzee®.
Invention: Yahtzee® in 1956
Yahtzee board game photo coutresy Hasbro Toys
Function: noun / Trademark
Definition: A board game involving rolling dice and keeping score.  Originally called the `yacht game'  The game is also used in schools to teach mathematics.
Trademark: Registration No. 0642862 filed April 19, 1956

Milestones:
1954
A wealthy Canadian couple (name unknown) invent a game they play on their yacht
1956 The Canadian couple sell "yacht" rights to game maker Edwin S. Lowe for 1000 game sets.
1956 Lowe renames game "Yahtzee". E. S. Lowe Company makes and markets the game.
1973 The Milton Bradley Company acquired the E. S. Lowe Company
Yahtzee, yacht game, board game, dice game, E S Lowe, Edwin Lowe, invention, facts, story, history, inventor,biography.

Yahtzee® was invented by a wealthy Canadian couple to play aboard their yacht. Whenever friends were invited aboard, they were taught how to play the "Yacht" game. Their friends enjoyed the game so much that they all wanted copies of their own.

In 1956, the couple approached Mr. Edwin S. Lowe, who made a fortune selling Bingo games in the 1920’s. They asked him to make up a few samples of the game for gifts. Lowe liked the game so much that he offered to buy the rights. They agreed to sell the rights for the price of the first 1,000 games produced so they could fulfill their friends requests. Lowe eventually changed the name of the game to Yahtzee®.

Despite all of Mr. Lowe’s attempts to advertise the game, it did not sell very well that first year. The game just could not be adequately described in an ad. It had to be played to be appreciated. So, Mr. Lowe started throwing Yahtzee® parties, and soon the game took off, thanks to word of mouth.

The Milton Bradley Company acquired the E. S. Lowe Company, and Yahtzee®, in 1973. Yahtzee® has won the hearts of millions, since 1956, thanks to people like you who just keep spreading the word. Keep rolling those Yahtzees!!

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
History of Games   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Advantage Yahtzee
by Olaf Vancura / Paperback: 151 pages / Huntington Press; (December 1, 2001)
Buried within this seemingly simple game is a mathematical puzzle so complex, the game has long been considered unsolvable by the mathematical world. But now the code has been broken and an optimal strategy discovered for playing Yahtzee
Math Trek : Adventures in the Math Zone
by Ivars Peterson, Nancy Henderson  / Paperback: 128 pages / Wiley (October 8, 1999)
Each chapter visits a different site at an amusement park called the MathZone. For each trek, readers are asked to solve problems and try out puzzles on their own. Solutions are provided at the end..

ON THE WEB:

The History of Yahtzee®
See how Hasbro has adapted their games to entertain over eight generations of kids.
(URL: www.hasbro.com/default.cfm?page=ci_history_yahtzee)

Best Classic Toys
Hasbro Games Yahtzee! Board Game.
(URL: www.drtoy.com/2002_c/classic_02_13.html)
Solving Yahtzee
Phil Woodward of Pfizer Global Research and Development in England has solved the game—computing all of the more than 1 trillion possible outcomes and working out optimal playing strategies.
Article by Ivars Peterson for Science News Online.
(URL:
www.sciencenews.org/articles/20030315/mathtrek.asp)
Recreational Mathematics
Yahtzee is a game played with five 6-sided dice. Players take turns rolling the dice, and trying to get certain types of rolls, each with an assigned point value
(URL: mathworld.wolfram.com/Yahtzee.html)

WHERE TO FIND:
Yahtzee
Dice Game / by Milton Bradley / ASIN: B00000IWH6 / Less than $10.00
Game includes five dice, dice cup, 10 bonus chips, score pad, and instructions (English and Spanish). For one or more players, Throw the dice to build straights, full houses, five of a kind - YAHTZEE! A family favorite since 1956

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Today, more than 50 million Yahtzee® games are sold annually.
  •  An estimated 100 million people play Yahtzee® on a regular basis.
  • A short-lived TV game show adaptation of Yahtzee was syndicated to local stations during the 1987 season.
  ® Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised December 4, 2006.
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