One woman's mission to win as many prizes as possible...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Roadtest #11: Quiz Nights

Whether it's the weekly pub quiz down at your local watering hole or a yearly event for a suburban netball team, quiz nights are ideal fundraising and fun-raising opportunities to win...

First up, I admit -- I pretty much suck at trivia. I have degrees in mathematical and computer sciences, English and law. I can solve a Rubik's cube, am a whiz at Scrabble, solve 9-letter word puzzles with ease, and can recite the entire theme song of The Nanny off by heart. Despite being this incredible repository of useless knowledge, my brain just does not hold quiz-friendly facts.

You see, I couldn't care less who's the president of Venezuela, what's the third-largest lake in the world, or which year the Berlin Wall fell. I see no reason to have these facts on speed dial in my brain. If I need them for some ungodly reason, I'll research them. That's what Google is for, folks.

I'm not intellectually challenged or intellectually lazy -- I prefer to think of it as intellectually picky. If I'm not intrigued by a morsel of knowledge then no sale -- my brain refuses to retain it.

With that in mind, Adam and I headed to a city pub last night for his ultimate frisbee club's annual quiz night. I added very little to the table other than aesthetic beauty *saucy wink*, but in our midst was Mark the Maths Genius, Alexis the History Buff, a philosophy student, Adam the computer dude and Formula 1 expert and various computer dude mates, plus Robyn, the only other chick and a fellow law graduate. We felt confident we could hold our own.

There were eight rounds, each on a different topic, peppered by various mini-games. For a gold coin donation, you could enter:

  • Heads and Tails: Stand up, and place both hands on your bum, both on your head, or one on each to guess whether two coins will land heads or tails. Sit down once you get it wrong. Last person standing is the winner.
  • Process of Elimination: Stay standing while a series of instructions are read out. You are eliminated and must sit down once you fit the description, eg "Sit down if you have green eyes", "Sit down if you own a GPS" etc.
  • Coin Toss: The winner is the person to land their coin the closest to the target.
Our table failed to win any of these, but a word to the wise... If you want to increase your chances, hold off until the last game of each. People's enthusiasm waned and less people entered later on. I tried Process of Elimination, but was thwarted by "Sit down if you're wearing contact lenses". Darn cruddy eyesight diddles me again! I wasn't overly keen on that $50 shopping mall voucher anyway.

The prizes were all around that prize range and were quite nice. Adam bought three tickets to the raffle as well and didn't win a prize. One dude from our table won a bottle of wine and there were heaps of worthwhile prizes, with winners getting to choose their prize on a first in, best dressed basis. It was a bit suss when five of the first six prize-winners were all from the same table, but perhaps they bought more tickets? Who knows.

But back to the quiz itself. I made a handful of worthwhile contributions (Venus is the planet closest in size to Earth, Newton's third law is not F=ma, etc). However, I was nigh on completely useless for what should have been my best subjects, "Movies" and "Musical Themes from TV and Movies". I thought the Buffy music was The X-Files for the first few seconds (what???) and failed to recognise the Melrose Place tune when I only watched every episode of that show during the 90s.

There was one last way I could help our cause and I believe it fueled our spectacular comeback in the last rounds. Every so often we needed to hand up a sheet of answers to puzzles such as naming companies based on their logos or matching collective nouns to different animals (pride of lions, school of fish, etc). Using a cocktail of bullshit, guesstimates and baloney logic (crocodiles sort of sunbake, so let's put "a bask of crocodiles"), Robyn and I managed to get a surprising amount right. And our table came second out of about 8-10 tables. We even lost by one tiny point! Not that it mattered, as we won a gigantic basket of goodies that we shared out amongst our table members, including buying another round of beers with our $50 bar voucher. Adam and I scored two chick-flick books, a nougat bar, chocolate-coated peanuts (woohoo!!!) and the basket itself (handy for a picnic or perhaps a new bed for our kitties).

So gather up your best nerd buddies, bone up on your collective nouns and past presidents and catch a quiz night near you. Often there's a prize even for the last place-getters, but win or lose, you're bound to raise a little fun(d) along the way.


  1. Thanks for that. Very interesting and not something I'd have thought of. You should try pub poker next, not that I have but apparently it's quite popular seeing as you don't use your own money (from what I can gather anyway)and good prizes on offer.

  2. Hmm, I am notoriously bad at poker, but that sounds like a fun experiment.

    I will look into it. Thanks Sandybottoms. : )

  3. Hi there

    The picture you've used above was originally commissioned by Instant Quizzes Ltd.

    We're happy for you to use it - but please can you also link to our website

    Many thanks

  4. Hi Phil,

    I've actually been thinking of changing a few pictures on this site, including the one above. This will happen shortly.

    I'll put up your link in the meantime.

    Kind Regards,


  5. Keep sharing such good stuff. It was nice reading the post. Really worth to read.