Playing Trivia

Anyone interested in playing Trivia can play. People can play by themselves if they prefer, but most people find it more enjoyable to play as a team. The teams are divided into on-campus and off-campus groups and scored in separate brackets, as both groups are not always asked the same questions. On-campus groups have played all over campus and can be dorm residences, student organizations, or any other group of students. Off-campus teams have played from as far away as Japan, although most teams are based in the greater Fox Valley area.

Trivia will be broadcast on the Internet exclusively this year, as Lawrence University's radio station, WLFM, has moved to an Internet-only format. If your team cannot arrange to listen over the Internet, please contact this year's Grand Master, Addy Goldberg. In fact, direct all Trivia-related questions to the Grand Master.

Registration starts before the contest. To learn about the registration for this year's contest, click on the Current Contest link.

The format of Trivia (except for the Credo itself) has varied over the years, but the contest always lasts from Friday at 10:00:37 p.m. to just after midnight on Sunday. Teams call in with answers to questions read on the air, receiving three guesses. A regular question is worth five points and should be answered in three minutes. No partial credit will be given for multiple-part answers.

In addition to the regular questions, on-campus teams participate in "action questions" (e.g. trying to compose the best love song or gather the most human hair), which are worth as much as ten points and have variable time limits.

On Sunday night near the close of the contest, three very difficult questions, known as "Garrudas," are asked. Each Garruda is usually worth 25-50 points and must be answered in 10 minutes.

Finally, the contest ends as it begins, with a Super Garruda. The Super Garruda is worth 100 points and must be answered in 20 minutes.

The gods among men who read the questions, known as trivia masters, are chosen in the fall by existing trivia masters after a grueling audition; any Lawrence student is eligible, but those who've played in previous years have an advantage.

Presiding over all of them is the Grand Master, chosen by an outgoing Grand Master from the ranks of current trivia masters. The new Grand Master is named at the awards ceremony which marks the official end of Trivia Weekend. The word of the Grand Master is law, and overrules anything written on this page.


The competitive fervor of the contest leads naturally to the establishment of rules. Foremost among them is the Credo, the most important rule of the Great Midwest Trivia Contest:

Trivia is meant to be entertainment and should be perceived solely in that light.

No one who truly understands the Credo will have trouble with any of the other rules, but there are a few more:

1. Decisions made by the Grand Master of Trivia or the Station Manager are FINAL.

2. When a team calls to answer a question, they will be allowed only three chances to give the correct answer. If a guess is correct, they will be asked their team name/number and be rewarded the points for that question. Only one guess can be made per call for a Garruda, and the team must identify themselves before they guess. Any team caught phone-jamming during a question will have their points for that question zeroed. Any team caught jamming during a Garruda may have their score zeroed.

3. Cheating is forbidden. Cheating is the only way to lose points in this contest. Cheating is defined as:

a. Interfering with the ability of others to participate in the contest.
b. Obtaining answers from anyone on the WLFM or Trivia staffs.
c. Competing in the contest under more than one official team name.
d. Abuse of the telephone system, as determined by the Grand Master. Dialing to the phone numbers provided for the other team bracket is a common example.
e. Prostitution of the Trivia Credo.
f. Considering anything sacred.