The University of Tulsa hosted a Trivia Night two Saturdays ago. It was open to the public as a fundraiser for The University School, sponsored by Williams Cos., and offered alcoholic beverages alongside quiz questions—some challenging, some effortless—for the 21-and-over-only attendees. Emceed by Jeanne Nass of Tulsa’s 103.3 The Eagle, the event featured nine teams composed of eight members, each competing for Einstein trophies.
Trivia team names ranged from “We Are Number One” (a self-fulfilling prophecy) to “The News Buffs” (Tulsa World staff) to “Spock’s Brain” (classic “nerds”) to “We’re Going Down” (also self-fulfilling) to “The Naturally Selected” (from the Biology department). Six rounds tested knowledge in various categories over the course of a couple hours.
First came “Take Me Back to Tulsa,” a series of questions centered around local events, landmarks, celebrities, sports, museum collections and more. The Tulsa World news team appeared to enjoy this bout of questions more than the other teams, possibly comprised of non-Tulsa natives or perhaps academics who don’t get out much.
Between the rounds competitors learned there were extra credit opportunities. “Movie Songs by Decade” were played over the speaker system one by one. Teams had to write down the title of the song, performing artist and movie in which it was featured in order to gain points. Following the first round, a 1960s song was played. The songs progressed through the decades until reaching the 2010s after the last round.
The second and third question categories were both comprised of scattered topics under the titles “Potpourri” and “Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.” Sports and stocks, philosophers and painters, argot and astronomy, history and hashtags: all were open game.
In conjunction, diverse vocabulary demands and alcoholic drinks formed quite a stumbling block for Nass, the “trivia master” whose questions were sometimes asked less than masterfully. Additionally, the emcee was emboldened by either attention or alcohol and began playfully insulting the teams who were not performing spectacularly.
However, the evening continued pleasantly as sealed envelopes were delivered to each table for the next round of queries, based on the enclosed images. This was probably the easiest round, objectively speaking, but teams were offered the capability to buy up to four mulligans for 25 dollars each. When used in place of a guess, a mulligan meant the answer would be counted correctly.
“Entertainment” and “Around The World” were the final two categories of the night. Amusingly, all teams performed their worst during the former of those rounds—maybe that was to be expected at an educational event. In the latter, a couple hailing from the United Kingdom, Dr. Warren Booth and wife Gemma of “The Naturally Selected,” incorrectly answered two questions related to British culture, a fact over which their team derided them following the answers’ reveal.
The “Kolok Cosmonauts” correctly responded to challenges concerning Russian authors and the Soviet-era space program, while “The Alex Trebeks” quibbled over semantics such as “It’s Goat-tastic!” versus just “Goat-tastic,” being this year’s Tulsa State Fair slogan. This attention to detail did not necessarily benefit them in the event’s casual atmosphere.
Predictably, “We Are Number One” won the most points at the end of the tournament, so each member was presented with a miniature Einstein bust. The team captain received a fitting prize: the Trivia Night Champions’ Hollingsworth Cup, a silver trophy full of candy brains.