10 Fun Facts You Never Knew About Trivial Pursuit

Updated: Nov. 28, 2022

Find out more about the game that's been called “the biggest phenomenon in game history.”

Fun-Facts-You-Never-Knew-About-Trivial-Pursuit_529585081-Anurat-ImareeAnurat Imaree/shutterstock, via hasbro.com

1. The game was created on December 15 1979, by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, two Canadian newspaper editors. Haney and Abbott were friends and came up with the idea when playing Scrabble and drinking beer. They wanted to make their own game, and soon Trivial Pursuit was born.

2. The design of the game board is based off of a ship’s wheel—six separate spokes leading to the center or winner’s circle.

3. The artwork for the game was by 18-year-old Michael Wurstlin. He was unemployed at the time and took the job because his unemployment insurance had run out. He chose to invest in five shares of stock and earned enough money to start Wurstlingroup, a successful marketing company based in Toronto.

4. Haney and Abbott realized they needed $75,000 to create a prototype game board, the pieces, and print the cards. They searched for investors and many people turned them down. But, in the end they got 34 people to invest. Four years later, those investors were each getting five-digit dividend checks. These inventors, on the other hand, regretted what they made.

5. Trivial Pursuit hit the public in 1981. One game cost £48 (around $58) to make and it was only sold for £10 ($12). It didn’t start to make a profit until it was licensed to Selchow and Righter in 1983. This list of amazing trivia questions will cost you nothing. 

6. Over 100 million copies of the game have been sold in 26 countries in over 17 different languages.

7. Fifty special editions of Trivial Pursuit have been made. Some of the well known ones includes:

  • Star Wars Classic Trilogy Collector’s Edition
  • Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy Edition
  • The Rolling Stones Edition
  • Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Baby Boomer Edition
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack: Hollywood Flicks
  • Trivial Pursuit: Country Music

8. The original game had 6,000 questions printed on 1,000 cards.

9. Haney and Abbott were taken to court by Fred Worth in 1984 over the fact that they had copied Worth’s published trivia books. The judge dismissed the case ruling that trivia wasn’t able to be copyrighted.

10. Trivial Pursuit has made over $2 billion.

Sources: telegraph.co.uk, mentalfloss.com