Riddles in the dark! We loves them, precious. Help us play?
April 28, 2014 11:42 AM   Subscribe

We're having a Family Reunion/Memorial this coming weekend (Sunday, May 4th would have been my awesome grandmother's 100th birthday, but she sadly passed away just two months ago), and I am in charge of, among other duties, running the Trivia contest at the Welcome Dinner. Most of the plans are all set, of course, but as this is an icebreaker I want to do it up right, and I am still adding to my list of challenging queries and over-analyzing the logistics of the thing. I have read the old threads on the Metafilter vs Reddit Pub Trivia contests, but I need a little more help.


1. Please provide your own favorite remembered trivia questions and matching answers from similar outings you've enjoyed. 'Favorite' here can mean most surprising, most obscure, most humorous--basically, whatever intrigued you enough that it stuck in your head. I am looking for all sorts of general interest questions and don't want to bias the contest unfairly in favor of my personal areas of interest.

2. What is the usual way to score this? I cannot remember specifically how it was handled in trivia contests where I participated, just that we had groups and we conferred about answers and then the highest scores won. So, do we have one Master Answer Sheet per group, where the group members pick their best answer for each question after conferring and have to stick with that, or are their individual answer sheets that all add up for a group total?

3. What first comes to your mind (in a GOOD way) when you think of Florida? I'd like to tie the prizes in with our Floridian setting and I have my own ideas and some stuff set aside. But, if you were to win a small souvenir from Florida, what would you most like it to be?

Thanks so much in advance for all your help, everyone!
posted by misha to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe you can make those trivia questions *about* the family, since this is after all a family reunion? Things like, when & where were Grandma & Grandpa Smith married? What did Uncle George do for a living? How many kids did Cousin Mable have with her third husband?

As for Florida-oriented prizes, I'd just raid a souvenir stand for the tackiest stuff possible! Don't worry if that means something like a ten-year-old ends up winning alligator-shaped salt & pepper shakers or whatever: that's part of the fun.
posted by easily confused at 12:16 PM on April 28, 2014

It sounds to me like you're actually running a pub quiz. If you need questions, there are tons of pub quiz question sets, and the configuration and scoring is easily explained.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:07 PM on April 28, 2014

I have some general theories on this that I hope are helpful!

1) Pick a random topic you like and use it to formulate tangential questions. I once hosted trivia on my father's birthday (he was not there; he doesn't drink and lives four hundred miles away) so the theme for one round was my father. No one doing the trivia knew my dad, but I could use it as a starting place for stuff like "my dad was born in CITY. [Trivia question related to CITY.]" or "My dad's name comes from BIBLE STORY. In which book of the bible does my father's name originate?", so there was a wide variety of topics but with a common thread and it gave me a good starting place for making up questions. I also did weather which could be good for Florida?

If this is a family event held around your grandmother's birthday and it wouldn't be too painful, maybe have a round related to her? "We all know her favorite TV show was BLANK, which was set in PLACE. FAMOUS SCIENTIST was also born in PLACE. What did FAMOUS SCIENTIST discover?" or whatever -- just find stuff related to her and then check the Wikipedia article to find a piece of trivia you can use.

2) Vary the difficulty levels of the questions. People do trivia to have fun and it's no fun when you feel like you can't participate. I've been at trivia events that basically seemed like an excuse for the host to show off how smart they were and it wasn't really enjoyable, but if everyone gets every question that's no good either, so in a round of, say, ten question I'd maybe have like two that everyone will get, two that most people will get, two that most people won't get, and one or two pretty hard or obscure ones and the rest kind of in the middle. Aim for a range of scores at the end.

For scoring, my preference is to have teams of about six or so (maybe do it by table?) and then have one score sheet per team with one point per question (and possible bonus questions if you have something you think no one will want to get but you would like to include). It makes it more fun and collaborative if you're actually working with your team and have to agree on your final answer.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:06 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the answers so far, everyone!

I have purchased tacky Florida souvenirs, so we're good there.

The problem with making the questions based around my grandmother's life is that I do not know as much about her as I would like, and the people I would go to to get all the specific answers are the ones who will also be contestants--my Mom's siblings and their families.

I wanted to have the trivia contest because we have a number of kids and adults who fall on the Asperger's/autism spectrum. They are all brilliant, but would normally struggle with social occasions like this family reunion, so the contest gives them a chance to shine and feel more comfortable in a large group setting.
posted by misha at 6:04 PM on April 29, 2014

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