Trivial triumph

Mostly Harmless, P.L.O.C.K. win the measly prizes

The Appleton Post-Crescent, January 23, 1995.

They were still sleeping off that 50-hour binge today, recovering from the 29th Annual Midwest Trivia Contest at Lawrence University over the weekend.

The contest was broadcast over the university’s radio station, WLFM, starting at 10 p.m. Friday, and winding up at midnight Sunday.

A total of 311 questions, all dealing with matters of great inconsequence, were asked by volunteer announcers over the course of the contest. Teams phoned in their answers to a bank of volunteer operators.

Student “grand masters” Jeremy Satchell of Manitowoc and Dale Weiman of Delano, Minn., called it one of the best contests in the last four years. A total of 38 teams competed off campus. It was not clear how many on-campus teams played.

The trivia contest was started in 1966 as an antidote to a high-flown academic encampment at the same time, at which the world’s great issues were discussed. The trivia contest survived, the encampment has not.

The winner of the off-campus contest was a team called Mostly Harmless. In second was Den of Iniquity, and third, Under Where. Prizes never are the reason for the competition.

Mostly Harmless received a “12-inch Trivia Warrior Statuette,” that reportedly bears a striking resemblance to an X-Men doll. The on-campus winner, a team called The P.L.O.C.K., was given a used telephone. Second and third places, respectively, on campus went to One Bonastitudial Superbowl and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Trevor.

No team answered the “Big Garuda,” the final, very difficult question. It automatically becomes the first question of next year’s contest. Here’s the question: What was the name of the building where William H. Ashley took his oath of office a lieutenant governor of Missouri on Sept. 19, 1820?

And the answer, for 100 points: Maj. Biddle’s Missouri Hotel.