JW Spears began selling the game in Australia and the UK on January 19, 1955. In 1986, Selchow and Righter was sold to Coleco, which soon after went bankrupt.
He placed a large order and within a year, "everyone had to have one."In 1952, unable to meet demand himself, Brunot sold manufacturing rights to Long Island-based Selchow and Righter, one of the manufacturers who, like Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley Company, had previously rejected the game.
In its second year as a Selchow and Righter-built product, nearly four million sets were sold.
Each tile is marked with their point value, with a blank tile—the game's equivalent of a wild card—played as the word's first letter. In an English-language set, the game contains 100 tiles, 98 of which are marked with a letter and a point value ranging from 1 to 10.
The number of points of each lettered tile is based on the letter's frequency in standard English writing; commonly used letters such as vowels are worth one point, while less common letters score higher, with Q and Z each worth 10 points.
The game also has two blank tiles that are unmarked and carry no point value.
The blank tiles can be used as substitutes for any letter; once laid on the board, however, the choice is fixed.
S is one of the most valuable tiles in English-language Scrabble because it can be appended to many words to pluralize them (or in the case of most verbs, convert them to the third person singular present tense, such as the word LAUGHS); Alfred Butts included only four instances to avoid a game that was "too easy".
Q is considered the most problematic letter, as most words with it also contain U; a similar problem occurs in other languages like French, Dutch, Italian and German.
The tiles must form words which, in crossword fashion, read left to right in rows or downwards in columns, and be defined in a standard dictionary or lexicon. in the United States and Canada; outside the United States and Canada, it is a trademark of Mattel.
The game is sold in 121 countries and is available in 29 languages; approximately 150 million sets have been sold worldwide and roughly one-third of American and half of British homes have a Scrabble set.
Only the rosewood tiles of the deluxe edition varies the width up to 2 mm (0.08 in) for different letters.