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Yahtzee, an Exciting Game of Skill and Chance


An anonymous Canadian couple invented a game in 1954 which they called "The Yacht Game" because they played it on their yacht with their friends. A two tiered scoring system includes upper level scores: twos, threes, fours, etc; and lower tier scores which relate directly to poker's well-known hands: a pair, three of a kind, a full house, etc. Two years later the couple 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 had made his fortune producing Bingo games in the 1920s and quickly perceived the possibility of marketing the game. He acquired the rights to "The Yacht Game" from the couple in exchange for 1,000 gift sets. Promoting the game, which he subsequently renamed "Yahtzee," proved difficult. Its scoring concepts didn't translate well to ad copy. Finally Lowe hosted Yahtzee parties, which quickly caught on, and then he let word of mouth do the rest. Brisk and steady sales prompted Milton Bradley Company to purchase E.S. Lowe, and the rights to Yahtzee, in 1973. Hasbro, in turn, purchased Milton Bradley in 1984, unveiling the first computerized "Ultimate Yahtzee" in 1996. Today Hasbro offers several electronic versions of the game, a junior, deluxe, and travel edition, and a Spanish version.

  • Manufacturer: E. S. Lowe Company, Inc.
  • Material: printed cardboard | printed paper | vinyl
  • Origin: New York, NY
  • Object ID: 109.10107
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