Last Friday was World Trivia Night.

You may remember me blogging way back in January 2008 that I was determined to put together a team for World Trivia Night this year. WTN is the largest single-night trivia event in the world (according to Ken Jenning’s book, Brainiac). I love trivia and I love games and I love competition, so I was pretty damn excited to find out that the biggest event in the world was well within driving distance. I was SO THERE.

You need a team of 10 people (actually, you can play with fewer team members, but it’s to your advantage and also more fun to have as many people as possible). I tried all year long to get a team together. In the end I got seven people to commit, but I couldn’t find any more. I asked just about everyone I know in the world, and they all said no, mostly saying that they would just be no good at trivia (but it’s a night about fun! There’s a bar! You can just sit at the end of the table and get drunk!).

After about 100 No’s I started to feel the way a teenaged boy must feel just before he gives up and hires a hooker instead. So I threw in the towel and decided to accept the fact that I just wouldn’t be able to go to WTN this year.

Man, I was sad about it.

So on Friday, WTN day, I was pretty pouty around here all day. Trivia was happening, and I was not a part of it. I was crushed.

Then, at around 1:30pm, you will never guess what happened. A miracle!

A guy from my writer’s group (which I haven’t attended in almost two years, by the way, and I’ve only actually met this guy, who is relatively new to the group, one time) sent around a mass email saying that someone on his WTN team had to cancel at the last minute, and they were looking for one more player to join them at the last minute.


After getting Sir Monkeypants’ blessing I nabbed the spot and HOLY CRAP, was I giddy. I danced around the house and I jumped up and down and I hugged all the kids. Then I got out the Trivial Pursuit cards and made the kids help me cram.

World Trivia Night is held every year in the big cow barn at Landsdowne Park. This year there were 211 teams — the maximum allowed — and it was thrilling to be in the big barn with so many other freaks and geeks. I was literally swooning with a combination of joy and too much chocolate.

I really just didn’t want to embarrass myself — I had no idea what to expect in terms of how hard the questions would be. But as it turns out, I was a pretty valuable teammate — there were several questions to which only I knew the answer. So that felt pretty good. Overall our team got 92 (we think) questions right out of 100 — not too shabby at all.

There are ten rounds of ten questions each. After each round, they announce a winner for that round — the team that got the most questions correct. With 211 teams, chances are more than one team is going to get 10 out of 10 questions right, so they take all the teams that got a perfect (or the highest) score and draw a round winner at random.

My team (shout out to More Cowbell!) got 10 out of 10 correct in four of the rounds…and once, WE WON THE FREAKIN’ ROUND WINNER AWARD.

When you win the round, your whole team gets a little gold medal to wear around your neck.

I swear, when they called out MORE COWBELL I just about died. I jumped up and screamed and clapped and all in all, it was most unbecoming. I just couldn’t help myself, though. It was SO much better than I have ever imagined winning an Oscar would be. In fact, I was exactly like a surprise Oscar winner — crying and hugging everyone within reach and generally acting like my life had been justified. If they’d ask me to come up on stage and say a few words at that point, I totally would have been just like one of those babbling winners who is all, “Oh my God! I can’t believe this! It’s so amazing! I want to thank my Mom! Mom, you are SO AWESOME!…” And so on for a half hour.

I am exactly like Halle Berry’s soul sister now.

I may never take my medal off again.

I am SO TOTALLY going to WTN next year. Whoo!

12 thoughts on “Serendipity

  1. CapnPlanet — Since I had never been before, I wasn’t sure how hard the questions were going to be, and I was worried that the evening would be a total bust if we couldn’t field a full team. I roped everyone into it so I didn’t want them to have an annoying, frustrating evening! Now that I’ve been I feel more confident taking a smaller team if need be…but also I think I can win over some new members through the amazing power of THE MEDAL. 🙂

  2. OMG, I love love love trivia. I f I lived in Ottawa I would TOTALLY be there. Sounds like a total blast.

    I was in Reach for the Top in high school. That’s how much of a trivia geek I am.

  3. Mary Lynn! You should think about coming up for it. I think I am going to try to put together an all-gal team!

    I was also on Reach for the Top. Three years running. I think my mom still has it on a VHS tape somewhere. Memo to self: Find tape, destroy it!

  4. fame_throwa

    Oh god, let’s not bring up our Reach for the Top days. Talk about most embarrassing moment for me…

    Loved the bit about you cramming with the kids. As if you can cram for a trivia night!

    Needless to say, I’ve started prepping for next year in case you need me. I talked Mr. Chatty and our friend JC into playing Trivial Pursuit. (I was also curious to know how I compare against other people. I fear that playing against you all of my life has given me a skewed idea about my trivia skills.)

    Perhaps it was just a lucky night, but when we hit our hard cap of 10pm, I was on top with 6 pies. Maybe there is hope for me yet!

    Still, I think my problem is that you and I kind of know the same things, so you’ll have to scout for people with different knowledge.

  5. FameThowa, you are totally in for WTN. I’m doing the all-chick team and we need you! It’s much more about having fun than anything else.

    I found when I was at WTN that my weaknesses were (not suprisingly): Sports, History (specifically, well-known world leaders), Geography, and Classic Rock Music. I hereby assign you the Classic Rock cateogory. If a question comes up about Led Zep, you’re it!

  6. Ooweee! More Reach for the Top nerds! That’s awesome. The trivia night does sound like a lot of fun. I’d love to do that someday…I could do some of the history and geography, plus literature, pop culture, music. Can’t help with the sports much, tho.

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