Teams compete in trivia bingo

February 06, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

HAGERSTOWN - If anyone needs to have their faith in today's youth reaffirmed, they would have done well to spend an hour with Susan Kelly, Lauren Zamora, Jessica Shuff and Hannah Boward Saturday afternoon during a Team Trivia Bingo competition.

All 14-year-old ninth-graders at North Hagerstown High School, the girls were intelligent, witty and caring.

And funny.

After the first of three rounds of the fund-raiser, which benefited The Herald-Mail's Newspapers in Education (NIE) program, the girls had amassed just five points. The highest-scoring team had 19.

But then they noticed that they were not alone; that another team also had answered only five trivia questions correctly.

"Oh yeah! We're tied for last," Boward said.

"We're not dead last. This is good," Shuff said excitedly.

"It's all about having fun," sagely advised the group's leader, Kelly.

"We need to represent!" added Zamora.


The girls made up one of 30 teams that participated in the competition. Overall, more than $3,000 was raised, which will allow more than 33,000 free newspapers to be distributed to schools, said Brenda Bush, The Herald-Mail's NIE coordinator.

"I'm very pleased," Bush said. "We're hoping that it grows."

Citicorp, Sunrise Rotary and Valley Mall co-sponsored the event, which was at Washington County Technical High School.

After the first round, Kelly attributed the team's lackluster performance to trivia questions that seemed geared to an older audience. Later, though, she said that probably was appropriate since her team appeared to be the youngest one in the room.

She picked her teammates with care.

"They're my friends, but they're my smartest friends," she said.

The second round began promisingly, with the team answering seven of the first nine questions correctly. Each question was accompanied by a bingo number. If the team answered the question correctly, that square on a bingo card was marked by a neutral proctor. The same proctor was in charge of making sure teams wrote down their answers within a 20-second time limit.

A few questions into the second round, master of ceremonies Bob Fleenor - a Herald-Mail copy editor who was a five-time Jeopardy! champion - announced a question that he said was specifically for the North High team.

The pressure was on.

The question: Coldplay, a band, won record of the year in 2004 for what single?

"Clocks," the girls immediately said, but then started second-guessing themselves, wondering if it instead was "The Scientist."

They went with their first instinct and were right.

A later question from Fleenor asked what Western state's name means "snow clad" in Spanish.

At an adjacent table, a contestant quickly and loudly blurted out Nevada.

Turns out the woman teaches Spanish at North High. The girls took advantage of the outburst and added another point to their total.

Asked what Major League Baseball player last batted .400, the girls started tossing out guesses.

Sammy Sosa?

Mark McGwire?

Barry Bonds?

Weren't they all on steroids? one girl asked.

They didn't guess Ted Williams who, as Shuff correctly noted, now is cryogenically frozen with his head cut off.

Another baseball question also stumped them. Teams were asked which major league pitcher last won 30 games in a season.

Was it that guy who was recently traded to a team in Texas? (Roger Clemens)

What about that other guy who had blood seeping through his sock? (Curt Schilling)

Nobody knew it was Denny McLain in 1968.

They fared better with pop culture questions.

Boward immediately knew the name of the artist who sings "Get Rich or Die Tryin.'"

It's rapper 50 Cent.

"Half dollar. That's what my mom says all the time. Half dollar," Shuff said.

And the winners were ...

The following were the winners in Saturday's Team Trivia Bingo competition at Washington County Technical High School.

· First place - Janus Lucas Team (Marilyn Janus, Mark Janus, Mike Lucas and Jim Lucas)

· Second place - Citicorp Team (Sean Lewis, Phil Kelly, Donna Kelly and Dave Thompson)

· Third place - Sunrise Rotary Team (John Venditta, Ruth Anne Callaham, Jay Frantz and Jeanne Singer)

· Most trivia questions answered correctly - The Herald-Mail Newsroom Team (Don Aines, Tamela Baker, Julie E. Greene and Andrew Schotz)

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