Inventors: An anonymous Canadian couple; Edwin S. Lowe
Companies: E.S. Lowe, Milton Bradley
Object of the game: Players roll the dice for scoring combinations. The player with the highest score wins.
History: A wealthy Canadian couple invented Yahtzee as a dice game they could play with friends aboard their yacht. Wanting a few samples of their "yacht game" to give as gifts, the couple approached Edwin S. Lowe, a toymaker who had made his fortune selling copies of Bingo in the 1920s. Lowe agreed to make the couple 1,000 copies in exchange for the rights to the game. He changed the name of the game to Yahtzee and began selling it in 1956. It was a complicated game to sell through ads, and sales flopped. Lowe didn't give up; he started throwing Yahtzee parties to get people interested in the game, and its popularity grew through the 1960s and 1970s. Milton Bradley bought Yahtzee from E.S. Lowe in 1973 and has sold more than 50 million copies.
Updated versions: The Yahtzee board game has been slightly updated over the years with new packaging, but it still closely resembles its original version. Yahtzee fans can also play it as a card game, a computer game and an app.
Trivia: Yahtzee was adapted into a short-lived television game show in 1987.