TRIVIAL PURSUITS: From Where Did the Game Yahtzee Get Its Name?

Yahtzee is a dice game resembling the card game Poker.

From where did the game Yahtzee get its name?


According to Hasbro, the current owner of the game, the game was invented by an anonymous Canadian couple, who called it The Yacht Game because they played it on their yacht with their friends.


They asked toy and game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe if he would make up some sets to be given as gifts to their friends who enjoyed the game. Lowe perceived the possibility of marketing the game, and acquired the rights to the game from the couple in exchange for 1,000 gift sets.


Lowe commercially released the game in 1956, but the fame of the Yahtzee dice game did not occur when it was first introduced onto the market. However, Lowe thought of an advertising strategy that would prove to be worthwhile. He started having Yahtzee parties organized for public play. This gave numerous men and women the advantage and experience of being able to play the dice game firsthand.


Many of these people converted into enthusiasts of the game and the popularity and sales of the game began to grow significantly just by their word of mouth.


There are now, somewhere around 50 million Yahtzee dice games that are sold each and every year.