In 1971 he invented UNO to resolve an argument with his son about the rules of Crazy Eights. His son was a popular Social Studies teacher at Reading Hilltop Elementary School in Reading, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. The original decks were designed and made on the family dining room table. Then he and his family saved $8,000 and created the first 5,000 UNO decks to sell. At first he sold them out of his barber shop. In 1981, he sold the rights to UNO to International Games for $50,000 plus royalties of 10 cents per copy.
Today the game is produced by toy giant Mattel in 80 countries and has sold 151 million copies worldwide.
Merle Robbins died in 1984.
- Schuldt, Gretchen (6 February 1984). "Cards were stacked for success of UNO". Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
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