More and more enthusiasts testing their knowledge

Published 7:57 pm Saturday, August 26, 2017

It is a trend growing across the country — trivia game night. Enthusiasts young and not so young are flocking to bars, pubs and restaurants to test their knowledge of trivial information.

Local establishments, Martin’s At Midtown and Jacques, have each dedicated one night of the week for patrons to come and enjoy food and drink, while also participating in an evening of  “friendly competition.”

On Tuesdays, when the weather permits, trivia players gather on the patio at Martin’s At Midtown. The competition gets underway beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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Bill Ford, who for many years was the play-by-play radio announcer for Porters Chapel Academy football games, serves as the host or the person who calls out the questions during the evening.

“The atmosphere is pretty informal at Martin’s,” Ford said. “We have three rounds of ten questions, and I see the questions about an hour before the game begins.”

John Martin, the owner of the restaurant composes the questions for Trivia Night.

“It takes me about two and a half to three hours to come up with the questions,” Martin said, adding his sources come from trivia question websites.

Ford said some of the questions posed during the competition can be obscure, but ironically somebody will know the answer.

“You can have some of the most esoteric questions, like who got hit in the head by the baseball in the 1930s World Series,” Ford said.

And then when someone knows the answers, the others just look at each other wondering how someone would know that, he said.

At Martin’s teams are comprised of four people, and one of the four is chosen to write down the questions as they are read out by Ford.

Once a question has been read, teams began whispering quietly among themselves to come up with the answer.

Ford said, there was not a time limit in which a team must answer the question and sometimes players will even need a question repeated.

“We repeat and give people enough time to think about it,” Ford said.

At the end of each 10-question round, Ford calls out the answers and teams check their answers.

“People check their answers like they did in high school, and we just count on everyone being honest,” Ford said.

Categories can be anything from movies, to arts and literature to sports.

During last week’s competition at Martin’s At Midtown some of the trivia questions Ford read out were, “Name the movie containing this line, ‘Second star to the right and straight on till morning?’ Which French painter, born in 1864, painted a famous portrait of Vincent Van Gogh and What is the name of the deadly fish used in Japanese cuisine?”

During the game, Ford said cell phones are not allowed, and if any player is caught using his or her device, they are disqualified.

At the conclusion of all three rounds scores are tallied, the winning team is announced and each member receives a free drink ticket, John Roquet said.

Roquet, who is a regular at trivia night at Martin’s At Midtown said not only is playing the game fun, it is also a great way to meet new people.

Team makeup varies, he said, which allows one to socialize with new people from week to week.

Martin’s At Midtown has been hosting Trivia night for nearly three years and about a year ago it was suggested that since teams rotate weekly, individual scores should be kept, so once a quarter, the player with the highest score is presented with the golden weenie award.

The coveted award was presented to Roquet the first two quarters, Ford said.

Haley Sellers and Will Ballard, who are regulars at Martin’s At Midtown also play at Jacques on Thursday nights.

Jacques is part of the Central Mississippi Challenge Entertainment league, a provider that hosts live entertainment for bars and restaurants across the United States. The league not only hosts trivia games throughout the south, it also holds regional and national competitions.

At Jacques, Sellers said a team can be made up of an unlimited number of people and each team gets to choose their name. The game is played with a first half and a second half with each half having three rounds, Sellers said.

Scoring is also different.

“There is a point system ranging from six, four and two in the first half and from nine, five and seven in the second half,” Sellers said.

Points can then been wagered against subsequent questions.

Winning teams receive cash bar tabs, with first winning $40, second $20 and third $10.

Sellers and Ballard attended last year’s regional, which was held at the Lost Pizza Company in Ridgeland.

“It was a little higher pressure at regionals since we had Vicksburg team pride riding on the outcome,” Ballard said.

Trivia night at Jacques begins at 8 p.m.

And as a side note, for those who have not googled the answers to the questions posed earlier in the story they are “Peter Pan,” Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and puffer fish.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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