Trivia gains popularity at clubs and afterHOURS

By Eric Filemyr, News Correspondent

‘ What could entice more than a hundred young people to come out on a cold January night to be quizzed on science, history and literature? The answer may partially be alcohol, but most of the crowd at Clery’s on Dartmouth Street is there for the trivia. Every week, people in their 20s and 30s go to Clery’s and other bars like it in and around Boston to hang out with friends, drink and play trivia.
Although there was no alcohol, Northeastern’s on-campus club, afterHOURS, hoped to emulate the popularity of local quiz nights with its own trivia night on Tuesday. While it was not as populated as Clery’s (the bar had 39 teams on Jan. 14, and Tuesday’s event had seven), the players were just as energized at afterHOURS.
Several teams found themselves in first place at different times in the night. When the two hour game was over, it was Team Awesome who was victorious. Nani Stoick, Roberta Riddell, Marisa Fair and Allison Finney are all music industry students at Northeastern, and they pulled ahead in the final round, thanks to a question about musician Jimi Hendrix’s military service.
When asked about their strategy, the team revealed that they did not have one.
‘We thought we were losing,’ Stoick confessed. ‘We had given up pretty much.’
Before the final round began, they discovered victory was still mathematically possible. ‘We kind of went balls to the wall at the end,’ Fair said.
While it was not initially clear to even the afterHOURS staff what the women had won by the time the night ended, many said they’ do not attend trivia nights for the prizes.
Bob Carney, founder of Stump! Trivia, said, ‘Some of our biggest bars have the worst prizes.’
Stump! Trivia runs trivia nights all over the country, including those at Clery’s and afterHOURS. In addition to bars and clubs, the company has also organized trivia for bar mitzvahs, weddings and birthdays.
Carney said that while it is a little early to say how his company will be affected by the current economic recession, new venues still call for his services every week. He explained the appeal of trivia nights in general to young people, saying, ‘If you have ten dollars in your pocket and you’re 25, do you want to stay in or get a pitcher and maybe win a $25 gift certificate?’ Carney justified that trivia nights are ‘just something to do’ with friends instead of simply getting drunk.
The popularity of trivia nights is something afterHOURS hoped to tap into with their program. Mostly known for concerts, the club is looking to diversify its line up of nightly entertainment, said Sarah Weiner, program advisor for afterHOURS. She is looking into everything from ‘movie nights to concerts to trivia nights to spoken word performances.’
Weiner said’ she hoped to make trivia night a regular occurrence at afterHOURS if it proved successful. The members of Team Awesome, who admitted to being regulars at afterHOURS, said that they would be back for future quizzes.

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