The award-winning singer Lady Gaga (Stefani Gemanotta) claims that she owes much of her success to the popular dice game Yahtzee. So much, in fact, that the 23-year-old performer from New York City wrote a song about the game of chance titled "Proper Yahtzee."
Released in July, "Proper Yahtzee" still tops the charts in single CD sales and can be heard on countless radio stations around the world. It wasn't until recently, during an interview with Today's Matt Lauer, that the pop star revealed Yahtzee's personal connection.
"Yahtzee taught me many life lessons," said the singer. "My parents not only encouraged my siblings and me to play Yahtzee, but to play proper Yahtzee and follow all the rules and be very familiar with the hidden strategies of the game."
Deciding when to use a chance, three-of-a-kind, four-of-a-kind or even a small straight requires quick decision making and strengthens mathematical skills. Also, decision making is very important when choosing what die or dice to keep after a first or second roll.
One of the key reasons for Yahtzee having such a large influence in Gaga's life was that fact that her father, Joseph Germanotta, was a world-class Yahtzee competitor throughout the 1980's. "He traveled all over North America and Western Europe to play the game," said the singer. "So he would expect nothing less than proper Yahtzee from his children."
From an early age Gaga has vivid memories of placing the five dice in the red cup and recording scores on the child-friendly scoring sheets.
"I remember when I was about seven years old and we were playing Yahtzee in the kitchen and I used my chance too early in the game," recalled Gaga about the scoring option of adding any combination of dice. "And my father kept asking if I really wanted to use my chance. He kept saying, 'proper Yahtzee sweetie, let's think and execute proper Yahtzee."
So, remember when playing the game to always execute proper, proper, proper Yahtzee!