RIP – CHRIS HANEY


EXPIRED: 05/31/10 – Chris Haney, 59, liked to play Trivial Pursuit. Why not? He invented the game.

Haney was a photo editor at the Montreal Gazette when he and Scott Abbott, a Canadian Press sports journalist, met while covering the 1976 Summer Olympics. They became friends and in the coming years shared their love of Sangria and Scrabble.

It was on December 15, 1979, during a game of Scrabble that the pair came up with the idea of Trivial Pursuit. It took them a little more than an hour to draft the now-famous pie shaped circular board and categories.

Their hope? To earn enough extra money to be able to travel take an extra long vacation and see Europe. (I guess the Gazette doesn’t pay that well.)

They trademarkedTrivial Pursuit in1981, and sold just over 1,000 copies that Christmas season for $15 each (taking a $60 loss on each copy, by the way). But eventually they became millionaires and, by 2008, Hasbro bought the rights for $80 million.

And where did he learn al that trivia? Well, it wasn’t in school. Haney always said he had no use for school. Reading the newspapers taught him everything he needed to know. He once said: “I quit school in Grade 12. It was the biggest mistake I ever made. I should have done it in Grade 10.”

Haney did eventually earn enough money to travel to Europe  – but he took a cruise to cross the Atlantic to get there as he had a fear of flying.

By the time of his death, over 100 million copies of Trivial Pursuit have been sold globally. And he did eventually earn enough money to travel to Europe  – but he took a cruise, since he had a fear of flying.

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