It’s Time for Trivia!

By Laura Aviles, Staff Writer

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word trivia refers to “unimportant or little-known details or information.” It also refers to a quiz game where people need to solve questions about mysterious facts. The peculiarity of this game is that it is a teamwork exercise where several groups can gather, having fun while competing to earn a price.

The Trivia Club at Thunderbird began in 2015 when two friends, Carlos Melendez (MBA 2015) and Jeff Karlick (MBA 2015), decided to start this club in order to spend time with friends. The invitation began with a partnership with the Pub allowing the participants of trivia nights to get some drinks with special prices. Therefore, the event was named Pub Trivia.  Unexpectedly, the level of acceptance and excitement of T-birds turned this game into a weekly tradition. Before Carlos and Jeff’s graduation, they both decided to pass the torch or the “belt” to Kevin Roos (MGM 2016) and Patrick Shields (MA 2017). Then it all came to Patrick. Actually, if one thinks about Pub Trivia the image of Patrick throwing out the strangest questions is inevitable.

Since its inception, the nights of Pub trivia have been hosted by different T-birds, clubs and even professors. Among the list of professors who have participated and hosted it are Rankine for the Australia topic, Moffett for Finance and Oil & Gas, Auh for Career and Marketing, and Bowen for Miscellaneous trivia. Also, different clubs have hosted trivia nights, such as the African or the Latino Club with questions related to their own region. As Patrick Shield stated, “At the beginning, I did it because it was fun for my friends and I wanted to make people happy. Then, I got to learn the questions. So, it became a fun and learning experience.”

So how to play it?

2First, form your team. As the topics change, try to make it as culturally different as possible, as T-birds always do. There will be a variety of topics, from ones related to business or geographic to others related to music or hobbies. Everything counts. Your team will determine whether you win or lose the desired belt. Don’t forget to pick a name for your team before it all begins.

There are five rounds. Every round has three questions providing you the option of gaining 3, 6 or 9 points. So according to the level of certainty or confidence that the group feels in their answer to the questions, they can decide to put in a paper the number of points that they are betting for their answer.

During the fourth round, the questions are multiple choices with top list questions. For example, name the top ten exporter oil countries. The points are earned by every correct answer. One right answer gives you 1 point.

There will always be the surprise question, to make the game more interesting. This surprise question is called “Double Jeopardy.” It could appear at any time of the game. For the right answer, you can double the points that you have put in a bet.

Even if there appears to be a winning team in the last round, everything can change. There have been many times that a 5group who was in the third place suddenly wins the game due to answering the last question correctly.

The last question is called “Final Jeopardy.” At this point, each group is aware of their total points, and they can choose to bet it all or a just a portion of their points with the hope of winning the game. The tricky part is that you have to bet your points before you know the question. That way all the teams can leverage their points and have the opportunity to win. It could happen that a losing team beats the first one with just the Final Jeopardy question.

Trivia question

One of the toughest and trickiest questions in all of Pub Trivia history was:

What is the Japanese term for a symphony without lyrics?

If you know the answer comment below at the end of the article.

In the mood to play trivia?

The last trivia night of the semester will take place next Tuesday, April 25th. It starts at 9 pm.  Come to support, play, and get special discounts on drinks at the Pub during trivia.

Let’s continue the tradition

Although Patrick is graduating in a couple of weeks, he is eager to pass the torch to T-birds who want to take part in this great tradition and are passionate about it. As he added:

“I think Pub trivia must continue no matter the number of participants because it is an outlet for many people to break free from the usual schedule of classes. The majority of learning happens outside of the classroom and Pub Trivia is a shining example of mixing people together to really embrace the Thunderbird learning style.”

To get in contact with Patrick, just send an email to

All photos courtesy of facebook group Pub Trivia Club.

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