Wall Drug: LU’s ’83 trivia winner makes S.D. billboard

The Appleton Post-Crescent, 1983.

Question: What connection is there between the famed Wall Drug of South Dakota and Lawrence University?

Answer: the Midwest Trivia Contest, the nation’s oldest at 20 years.

Most people traveling Interstate 90 to Wall, S.D., probably wouldn’t fully understand the expansive billboard in front of the town’s dinosaur. But LU trivia nuts surely would.

The question was: “In Amsterdam, Holland, across from Central Station, there is a clock at a stop for the number 22 bus. Next to the clock is a sign. What does it say?”

That indeed was the Grand Garuda, that elusive, final obscure question in Lawrence’s 1983 contest, which clinched the victory for a team known Cardboard Castle.

The story goes that the answer was, by coincidence, the easiest of all the questions for Cardboard Castle, comprised of a group of teachers.

Two of the members, Kim and Mark Koepke, from Stevens Point, had vacationed in Holland and had seen the sign.

Intrigued, Mark had written down the words on the sign: “5,397 miles to Wall Drug, Wall, S.D..”

When the last trivia question was read on the air, and other teams were totally stumped, Mark simply pulled out the slip from his wallet and won the day.

Wall Drug entrepreneur Ted Hustead, who built a travelers’ way station into a household name throughout the U.S. and beyond, now has marketed a new trivia question on a billboard along I-90.