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The History of Trivial Pursuit

Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott invented Trivial Pursuit on December 15, 1979. At the time, Haney was working as a photo editor and Abbott was a sports journalist. They were playing Scrabble when they decided to invent their own game; they came up with the basic premise for Trivial Pursuit in just a few short hours. Later that year, they took on two business partners (Ed Werner and John Haney) and formed the Horn Abbott Company. They also paid an 18-year-old artist, Michael Wurstlin, five shares to create the final artwork for the game. On November 10, 1981, the Trivial Pursuit trademark was registered and 1,100 copies of the game were distributed in Canada. In 1983, the creators licensed the game to Selchow and Righter, a major U.S. game manufacturer and distributor. After a successful marketing campaign, the game became a household name and sold a record 20 million copies in the United States. Its creators licensed the game to Parker Brothers in 1988 (it was later purchased by Hasbro in 2008). In 1993, Trivial Pursuit was named to the “Games Hall of Fame” by Games Magazine. Today, various special editions are available and the game is sold in multiple countries and languages.

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