The Orgin Of Trivia

In the past couple of decades trivia questions have become more poplar then ever. Games shows like Jeopardy and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire are some of the hottest show on TV. The board game Trivia Pursuit has come out with a dozen different versions and The Guinness Book of World has sold more than 92 million copies worldwide. When did this trivia craze start?

The Guinness Book of World’s Record was one of the first books to start compiling facts about anything and everything. It’s creator? Sir Hugh Beaver who was at the time employed in Ireland as the managing director of the Guinness Brewery.

After a day out with friends bird hunting Hugh and his pals got into an argument as to which game bird was the fastest. The argument ended in frustration when they discovered that there was no way to actually find out which bird was the fastest. There were no trivia books that covered that fact. Sir Hugh decided that if there were no books that compiled facts on what was the fastest animal, the smallest etc. he should create one.

Sir Hugh thought the books would be a great way to solve disputes in pubs, where Guinness was sold. So in 1954 Sir Hugh had 1 000 copies of the book made and gave them away to local pubs. They were an instant success. Within four months the book was a national best seller. According to Guinness it is the best selling copywrite book of all time.

Another world phenomenon was the trivia questions game Trivial Pursuit. The brain child of two Canadians, Scott Abbott and Chris Haney. The two decided while playing a game of Scrabble that they could create their own game. That was on December 15th 1979. But getting the game on store shelves was not an easy task. They realised that they were going to need help and money so they asked Ed Werner and Chris Haney to join the project. The game was officially on the market in 1981. Unfortunately it was losing money.

In 1982 the four men were able to convince Chieftain Products Ltd. to market their game in Canada. In turn Chieftain convinced Selchow and Righter to handle marketing in the US. The game took off from there. The game sold a record 20 million copies in the US alone in 1984. Today the game is sold in 33 counties, is manufactured in 19 different languages and has sold over 88 million copies.

Games shows are also jumping on the Trivia band wagon. Jeopardy, the brain child of Merv Griffin first aired in 1964. It was broadcast until 1975. The latest run which features host Alex Trebek has been on the air continuously since 1984. The current version of the show has won 11 Emmy Awards in the category Best Game Show and has been named the #2 greatest game show of all time by TV Guide.

Trivia is now available in more places than ever and is one of the most versatile games around. It is a game that can be played by any number of people anywhere, anytime and by people of almost any age. It is a fun and educational way of spending time with family and friends.

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