It’s day one of the 2015 Trivia Championships of North America (TCONA) and already there’s been an “incident.”
We’re oblivious to the unfolding disaster as we mill around the Havana Room of the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. Approximately half of the 200 or so registrants have just finished playing the First Quiz of TCONA, a 100-question written exam covering everything from Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina cleaning regimen to French World War I flying aces.
But now we’re ready for 5x5, the Jeopardy style game that is a TCONA favorite. And there’s no 5x5 to be had.A couple of guys wearing sports caps and jerseys break unexpectedly into show tunes. The rest of us Monday morning quarterback the First Quiz.
We agree that the test’s biggest stumper was to name the most recent Mexican-born winner of an acting Oscar.
I had immediately thought of Anthony Quinn, who was born in Mexico and won two Oscars for Best Supporting Actor in the 1950s (for Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life). I eventually settled on the equally wrong Salma Hayek, who was nominated for Frida but didn’t win.
The correct answer was what we in the quizzing world call a YEKIOYD: you either know it or you don’t. As it turned out, almost no one knew that Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) was actually born in Mexico. For all the brain power in the room, there are still things even most of us don’t know.
Slowly the word gets around that during the night one of the event’s organizers quietly checked out of the hotel taking half of the game buzzers with her. Read the rest