A pair of Canadians turned a love of trivia into the bestselling board game Trivial Pursuit.
Friends Chris Haney, a photo editor at the Montreal Gazette, and Scott Abbott, a sports journalist with The Canadian Press, gathered December 12, 1979, for a friendly Scrabble tournament but noticed that their new game was missing a few of its letters. Appalled at the expensive price of the incomplete game — a whole eleven dollars — Haney decided there must be a great amount of money to be made in board games.
The pair conceived their new game in just forty-five minutes.
After scraping together investments from friends, family members, and colleagues, they trademarked Trivial Pursuit on November 10, 1981, and licensed the game to Selchow and Righter in 1982. The first thousand copies were released in Canada.
Trivial Pursuit reached its peak of popularity in 1984, when 20 million copies were sold.
In 1988, the game was sold for $80 million to Parker Brothers, now part of Hasbro. As of 2010, Trivial Pursuit had sold nearly 100-million games in twenty-six countries and had been translated into seventeen languages.
— Katherine Dow