Wonder of the Day: Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza has a reputation for being one of the most popular pizza chains in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer a wide selection of toppings and crusts to cater to all different tastes, and they also have a great delivery service that makes it easy to get a quick and delicious meal no matter where you are.

This week’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Juan, who wants to know, “What is the domino effect?”

When most people think of Domino’s, they probably think of the company’s pizza delivery services. However, this pizza chain also has restaurants across the United States and internationally. The company was founded in 1960 and is currently owned by the Pizza Hut group. Domino’s has a lot to be proud of in recent years, including impressive same-store sales growth and an innovative loyalty program.

The word domino is both a noun and a verb, meaning either (1) A small rectangular block of wood or plastic, standing on end, with the face marked with an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. (2) A game played with a set of these blocks, generally 28 in number. (3) A line of these blocks extending from one end to the other, in which each tile must touch a previous tile on its exposed edge and have a total value that adds up to a multiple of five.

Most games of domino involve players competing to build long lines of a single type of domino, with the goal of scoring points by playing all of one’s tiles before someone else goes out by completing all of their dominoes. Each player begins a turn by placing one domino down on the table. Then, if the domino they have is a double, they must match it with another double (one’s touching two’s or three’s touching four’s).

When the first domino is knocked over, it will usually trigger other dominoes to tip over, and so on. When a domino is out of play, the person who owns it will say, “I’m out,” or simply “knock” on the table. The person who knocked over the first domino is then the winner of the game.

The term domino is often used in a political context, with the notion that one country’s actions could lead to the collapse of a larger system. For example, President Eisenhower cited this idea in a press conference when explaining America’s decision to provide aid to South Vietnam during the Cold War. This prompted a journalist to coin the idiom, “the domino effect,” which has now come to mean any situation where one event leads to a series of increasingly significant events. Interestingly, the earliest sense of domino denoted both a hooded cloak and a mask worn at a masquerade. In fact, some of the earliest domino pieces were made with ebony blacks and ivory faces, which may help explain why this word is so well-suited for the game.