Plantz team wins 46th annual Great Midwest Trivia Contest

Maggie Brickner

Teams from around the country tuned into Lawrence University’s WLFM station last weekend to compete in the 46th Annual Great Midwest Trivia Contest.
During the 50-hour contest – which this year lasted 51 hours – 84 teams answered 376 questions in pursuit of a winning title.
Trivia began at its traditional 10:00:37 p.m. last Friday night, and the competitors were in for a long and trivial ride. From “Disney Hour” to “Paula Deen Hour” to a “Project Runway” action question, the weekend was packed with reasons not to sleep.
In the off-campus division, “Trivia Pirates ARGH!!!” won a well-deserved Trivia poster – stabbed by the Trivia Masters – for first place prize after placing as runner-up for the past two years. Runners-up in the off-campus division this year were “Trivialeaks,” in second place, and in third place “Scott Pilgrim vs. the Superbad Iowans in Revolt.”
This year’s on-campus winning team “Morgan Freeman” came from Plantz Hall. The team, composed of Plantz residents as well as volunteers from across campus, had, at one point, over 40 people working on the team.
In past years, the Plantz team, traditionally named in honor of Morgan Freeman, has performed well. Another common trivia team tradition the “Morgan Freeman” team followed was having an enormously long name in order to stay on the phone longer and block other teams from calling in.
This year the team’s name was “Morgan Freeman Plus Plantz’s Pecorous Pastures Propose Presenting Persnickety Penguins with Ponchos to Prevent Pernicious pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.”
Greg Peterson, a driving force behind the 2011 team, revealed what made the team so successful: A huge number of dedicated players and a commitment to playing every action question ranked as the most important. Finally, in accordance with the Trivia Credo, having fun and staying relaxed can prevent burnout in the later hours of the contest.
Peterson continued, “Crazy, crazy stuff happens in Trivia every year, but what made this particular year so special was actually winning the damn thing.”
The Plantz team received a “whiskey duck” – a “Ducks Unlimited” promotional bottle from Jim Beam – in honor of their efforts. The runner-up teams on-campus were the “Soviets,” a team run out of co-op house, and “Butter our Bread with Butter,” a team of LU alums.
Derrell Acon, this year’s trivia Grand Diva, was responsible for running this year’s contest. Acon commented on why he loves Trivia: “The contest is so important to so many people, and it is up to you to make sure everything goes well.”
In addition to the title and eternal fame as the Grand Master, Acon was also responsible for selecting the Grand Master for the 2012 contest. At the award ceremony at 2:01 a.m. Monday morning, Acon officially announced that Jake Fisher would be taking his place next year.
Each year the contest starts with the answer to the previous year’s Super Garruda, the last question of the weekend, creating a contest that runs “year-round.” This tradition has earned Lawrence Trivia recognition for being the world’s longest-running trivia contest. The Great Midwest Trivia Contest is also debatably the longest-running college radio trivia contest.
Since 1966 Trivia has undergone some slight changes, including a switch from taking place in spring term to happening in winter term. The Trivia Masters had to make another major adjustment after the Internet became available in order to keep the contest a challenge.
Because of the Internet, Trivia has become more focused on searching for trivial facts instead of on direct knowledge of the information. Despite some minor modifications, the contest has remained student-run for the entire 45 years.
For those who did not have time to play this year, rest assured that the 47th Annual Great Midwest Trivia Contest promises to be equally as exciting, and now. contestants have a whole year instead of 30 minutes to find the answer to the first question: “What was the log entry on Sept. 29, 1961 at 2 p.m. PST in the Alamo Airways Daily Log at McCarran International Airport?