by Marie-Kristin Hoffman
Sun Star contributor
Suddenly people at one table jump off their chairs, nearly knocking over their five beer pitchers. The group just scored a point. It’s trivia night.
“It is your chance to either make a fool of yourself or show your intellect,” said Cory Coulman, a 29-year-old anthropology junior.
Pub Trivia takes place every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at the UAF Pub, which is located in the Wood Center on campus. Anyone over 21 is free to participate.
This Tuesday, more than 120 people filled the pub. “You can always expect a good crowd,” said Donald Crocker, the 32-year-old pub manager. For him, Pub Trivia is the most consistent night of the week.
Everyone who pays the $5 registration fee can enter the competition. Usually, about 15 teams of three to four people compete with each other in short quizzes.
“The teams that play are a mix of undergraduate and graduate students, professors and faculty members,” said pub supervisor Michael Hooper, 22.
The game covers questions on five categories.
According to Jimmy Beverage, a 23-year-old petroleum engineering senior, participants often have their favorites, “From what I remember, which is a little because it was a lot of beer, my friend was really good at Disney movies.” He adds, “I liked the category ‘random hard questions’ since it had nothing to do with anything.”
The difficulty of the questions rises with the number of points that can be earned. Electronic devices such as smartphones are banned from the game. The team with the most points wins.
The manager has a formula for prizes, “They are the cheapest pieces of shit I can find.”
This is why Pub Trivia is so profitable. Registration fees are reinvested in prizes so that trivia night does not cost the UAF pub anything. For the last four years, a tradition has evolved. “The last place always gets a loaf of bread,” Hooper said.
This night, the categories were Halloween themed such as “How to kill someone with natural science.”
The manager hosts Pub Trivia every other week and makes up the questions himself. “If people don’t know the answer, they tend to give offensive and inappropriate ones,” he said.
His observation manifested itself later. Asked to name the ingredients in the drug cocktail for the lethal injection, one team answered, “marijuana.”
“The funniest stuff happens once there is a tie,” said Crocker, who explained it is left to the judge to determine deciding tests.
Beverage had such an experience, “In order to win, one of us had to dance to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. It was worth the trouble – we won.”
“We made people do all kinds of stuff,” Crocker said, listing other tie-breaking activities, “They had to do a walk-off on an imaginary catwalk or do interpretative dance to hip-hop music.” Lap dance contests as a tie breaker had to be banned. “It just got weird,” he said, chuckling.
Crocker said trivia is a natural draw on campus, “Since we are at a university, people like to wrap their identity in knowledge.”
For some, the setting itself is reason to start participating, “We were at the pub to begin with,” Beverage said, “And then we started playing.”