"Merle Robbins, an Ohio barbershop owner, loved to play cards. One day in 1971, Merle came up with the idea for UNO and introduced the game to his family. When his family and friends began playing UNO more and more, Merle took notice. He and his family decided to pool together $8,000 and have 5,000 games made. That's how UNO got its start!
So how did UNO go from 5,000 games to 125 million? At first, Merle sold UNO from his barbershop. A few friends and local businesses sold them, too. Then UNO took the next step towards card-game fame: Merle, the Ohio barbershop owner, sold the UNO rights to a funeral parlor owner and UNO fan from Joliet, Illinois. The cost? Fifty thousand dollars, plus royalties of 10 cents per game. International Games Inc. was formed to market UNO, and sales skyrocketed. In 1992, International Games became part of the Mattel family, and UNO had a new home."