Pub Trivia all stars

Annie Bartholomew/Sun Star Reporter
Feb. 7, 2012

The Rhymenoceros team competes in the "Super Bowl" segment of Pub Trivia on Jan. 30th, 2012 at The Pub. Baptiste Haentjens/Sun Star

Even before I was a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I heard about Pub Trivia from my older brother, his friends and Facebook.  Contrary to my first impressions, Pub Trivia is nothing like “’Jeopardy!’ for drunk people.”  Pub Trivia is hard, and its own genre of drinking game.

Pub Trivia happens in The Pub every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.. Last Tuesday I scored the only open booth of a surprisingly-packed Pub. I asked my teammate TJ Hovest, a music education student, how to get started in the Pub Trivia world. “Just pay five dollars for your team, pick a team name, and you play five rounds,” he shouted over the din while holding his pint glass.

After receiving our team score sheet from the bartender, our next task was settling on a team name – which is more difficult than one might think. A good Pub Trivia name is funny, outlandish or borderline offensive like Tuesday night’s ‘White Power Rangers’ (Say it to yourself slowly). There is also a prize for the best team name.

The game began with host Donald Cockrell rattling off the official rules of Pub Trivia. There are five rounds of categories. The questions get progressively harder during each round and are scored two, four, six, eight and ten. Contestants may not use smartphones or laptop computers and teams submit answers are on torn-up pieces of paper.  After teach team turned in their answers, Cockrell sorted and read them aloud.

There are two ways to answer a Pub Trivia question.  You can write down the best answer you have and hope it’s going to be right, or make up something for laughs.

For example, if the question is “Who was considered the female Paul Revere except she rode twice as far and was only sixteen?” you probably won’t remember Sybil Ludington. So what are your options? If you are really playing Pub Trivia, will come up with the funniest or dumbest answer you can think of: “Paula Revere.” Getting laughs is almost as important at getting points.

My first Pub Trivia did not win the competition. My team finished in the middle of 11 teams and did not receive awards for first, second, third, or the red lantern prize for lowest score.

I asked the host and Pub Trivia veteran, Donald, what is the secret to becoming a Pub Trivia all-star? “A lot of random knowledge about stuff people shouldn’t know,” he said. “Create a team with a bunch of different nerds that specifically specializes in different categories. Those are the teams that succeed.”

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