Every year the Saint Cloud State Student Radio Station, KVSC, organizes a 50-hour long trivia contest. I had wanted to play for the past 4-5 years…only I’d realize this when I heard the winners announced every year. This year, I got to join the team “Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women” since Kate, my biking buddy, has been a member of the team for years. They run an amazing organization, have a great playbook (which I’ve been sworn to secrecy not to reveal!) with all kinds of great strategies proved over their many, many years of playing the trivia game. I had been looking forward to the contest for over 8 months since I first met Kate and found out she played…
I was so excited I finally had a chance to play I was determined to help out however I could. I handled most of the technology needs of the team, from the networking setup to providing the individual computers that filled the informal computer lab we setup in our secret right-at-ground-level “pigpen”. If you’re a regular OfficeCam fan, you may have noticed I also provided the remote video feed for the weekend, since PigPenCam had usurped OfficeCam. I also roped in my Brother-In-Law, Davin, to play remotely from Texas; Kelly came to play for a bit as well. I also spent the 2 weeks leading up to the event by warning all of my friends that had a particular realm of expertise/knowledge that I might be calling them up at weird hours to ask them even weirder trivia questions!
Of course, after all this setup, we finally had to play! Because of the number of players on the team, we had the luxury of having a fairly relaxed come-and-go-as-you-please/need schedule. I played from 5pm Friday night to 7am on Saturday, 7pm Saturday to 10am Sunday and then 2pm Sunday to the finish at 7pm on Sunday. We started off a couple of hundred behind early in the competition, but by Saturday night, we had made up the lost ground and were battling at the top to move towards first place. The last four hours of the competition are “blacked-out”, meaning you don’t get to know the results each hour, to retain some suspense for the awards ceremony. At the awards ceremony, we find out we’ve taken first place, a bit more than a hundred points ahead of second.
Taking first place sure was great, but I was so charged from the experience, I don’t think I’ll ever miss another again. I consider myself a great “Googler”, but the contest certainly stretched my skills even further. According to my Google Search History, I did over 1500 Google searches during the contest! I could list off a dozen or more questions that stand out in my mind, but there is one I used as an example over and over again. While many of the questions are just that, simple questions read over the air, but some of the most challenging are “audio trivia”. They play a sound clip; you need to answer a question relating to that clip.
Question 5, worth 50 points: In this clip, identify the singer’s first and last name, as well as the name of the song.
OK, realize this is 7:30AM on Sunday morning. Googling the lyrics didn’t do anything. I listened to the clip again - from our recording of it off the radio…I finally recognized Dick Clark’s voice. Realizing that Dick Clark didn’t sing that much stuff, I started doing a bunch of searches on Dick Clark novelty records. Within a minute later, I’ve tracked down an mp3 of the exact song, we call the info in and we got the points. The weekend was filled with that kind of adrenaline. Absolutely amazing.
So, after the awards ceremony, and the obligatory visit to a restaurant to commiserate, I had to switch modes. See, I had planned a vacation to Las Vegas with Kelly for the week following trivia. We were going to leave at 2:30pm Monday afternoon. Plenty of time to catch the flight, right? Well, I had carloads of computers, monitors, other assorted goodies all at the PigPen I hadn’t planned on having to take care of prior to leaving. It wouldn’t wait there for me to collect it after I got home. So, after hardly any sleep during trivia, I go back to the PigPen around 1:00am and pack 10 monitors in the back of my Beetle like a Tetris game. I also put a TV, printer and a few other things in the front passenger seat and make a trip home.