Calling all Trivia Masters

David Rubin

Grand Master. Super Garruda. Action questions. Gayzor Hour. Black People Hour. Julia Child Hour.
This is the vocabulary of the Great Midwest Trivia Contest, one of Lawrence’s grandest and longest-running traditions. Founded in 1966 by James B. deRosset ’66, trivia is a vital component of what is sometimes known as “Lawrence difference.” Indeed, nothing else seems to bring this campus together in such a wondrously unhealthy – only physically speaking, of course, as everyone who is anyone would agree that Trivia is good for the soul – fashion.
For first-year students and any others who might be unfamiliar with this iconic event, the premise is simple: It is a gargantuan, 50-hour trivia contest broadcast over WLFM, Lawrence’s Internet radio station. As per tradition, this year’s Trivia will begin at 10:00:37 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 28.
Many students participate in the contest not by playing, per se, but rather by staffing the trivia phones in the WLFM studio. These phones get a lot of traffic, not just from teams with legitimate answers, but also from those who partake in the activity known as “jamming” the lines in order to prevent others from scoring points.
The contest is presided over by a team of “Trivia Masters” – led by the “Grand Master” – who are selected by a top-secret audition process. They write hosts of questions, plan theme hours, secure sponsorships from area businesses, make arrangements with various Lawrence departments, arrange publicity stunts and stay up for inhuman spans of time. Trivia Masters are granted no more than eight hours of time off from the contest once it begins, so their commitment is not to be underestimated.
We at The Lawrentian thought it was about time that the Trivia Masters be given their due. To whet your appetites for next week’s contest, here is an introduction to the 12 students who are responsible for Trivia XLVI.