Every three months or so, the Wednesday night trivia game at Rivers Casino has a $1,000 winner take all night. To qualify for that night, you have to have played enough Wednesday night contests at the casino to be eligible.
My one-man Street Academy trivia team has done so. And, in accumulating more points in those weeks than any other trivia team … I get a headstart in Wednesday night’s trivia matchup.
And if I win the game tonight … I get to split $1,000 among all my teammates.
But first … I have to win the game.
Can I do it?
Let’s find out.
Based on number of wins leading up to the finals, I received bonus points to start the game. This was good.
Then I went and missed a question about which quarterback turns 39 in January. Here’s a hint. If it’s a tough 10-pointer, it’s not the obvious answer. Damn you Tom Brady, you’re cursing me every day. Yeah, I know it’s Drew Brees. Which is why all my headstart points went away.
The next round was a logo round – identify the logo, get the points. Again, hit four out of five in the round – but missed the logo for Yamaha. Ger. Falling behind several teams. Must catch up.
Did well in the next round, identifying song and artist from 5-second audio clips. While half the place thought this song was an En Vogue or a Janet Jackson song … I correctly identified it as a Jody Whatley classic from the 1980’s.
Up to second place.
In the second half, I hit another perfect music round, and did well in several brain teasers.
Then came the dreaded movie round. Identify five films by a still from each one.
You know how many out of the five I got?
Going into the final question … the $1,000 question … I was now in sixth place. I was looking up at El Chupacabra and Teachers Kinda and Tiny Ricks and the Cassidy Girls and Bailey’s Buddies.
I wrote down my bet and handed it to the host. Mind you, this was before he announced the category. I mean, at this point in time I either bet the farm and hope everyone else loses theirs – or bet nothing and hope that the question is a “murder” toughie that wipes everyone else out.
The final category … World Leaders.
Well, if I don’t do it now … I’ll never do it. Bring on the question.
“Former soccer star George Weah is now the President of what African country?”
I don’t know … Wakanda?
Wait … I do know this. I saw it on ESPN, or maybe Deadspin, or somewhere … yeah, and I remember it. Weah became the leader of Liberia. Yeah. Write down Liberia and hope for a miracle.
And I listened as the host read off all the answers from all the other teams. Congo. Nigeria. South Africa. Niger. Chad.
Holy Monrovia, Batman, I think I have a chance at this –
“And the Cassidy Girls bet it all, and they said … Liberia.”
And all that hope just raced out of me like John Force at the starting line.
Congratulations to the Cassidy Girls, who had a guy on their team who knew the answer cold. They won the $1,000, and were immediately escorted to the cash cage by the Rivers Casino employees. For all my efforts, I finished in second place for the night. No prize.
But no shame. I figured that one out of eleven teams was going to win the big bucks, and I was just one of those eleven. I played my odds the best I could, I answered as best as I could, and as a one-man team, I held my own against squads of five and squads of seven and squads of eight.
And … I also picked up seven second-place bonus points for the Trivia Unification Tournament, and I have a nice cushy lead in the standings for all teams representing Rivers Casino in the event. The top team from each participatory bar receives an automatic bid to the February 18th one-day championship.
So let’s see how well a one-man wrecking crew does in that.
And, in twelve weeks’ time, there will be another opportunity for me to claim a $1,000 prize at Rivers Casino.
It’s called never giving up.
Which I don’t plan to do any time soon.