The Great Midwest Trivia Contest, broadcast over Lawrence University‘s radio station, WLFM, was founded in 1966 by James B. deRosset ’66. The contest is run each January for 50 consecutive hours, asking questions such as “What band did Kurt Cobain call the best band in the world?” and “On what date does Bruce Wayne’s birthday fall?”
(Answers: “Teenage Fanclub ” and “February 19th,” respectively.)
Known as the “World’s Longest Running Trivia Contest” because of its custom of asking the last question from one year as the first question of the next, Lawrence’s trivia contest has been written about in many publications, including Playboy, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. The 1984 Trivia Master, John Landis, ’84, appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning, America.
The endeavor is governed by the Trivia Credo: “Trivia is meant to be entertainment and should be perceived solely in that light.” Nevertheless, competitive fervor runs high. The contest begins at 10:00:37 p.m. on the Friday of Trivia Weekend; at midnight on Sunday, teams with the highest scores are declared the winners in on-campus and off-campus categories, receiving prizes such as pink plastic flamingos and stainless-steel bedpans. As the Credo implies, the idea is to have fun.
The Great Midwest Trivia Contest is traditionally scheduled for the last week in January. Score updates during the contests can be found by clicking the appropriate Archives link on the left. Direct all questions, concerns, etc. to this contest’s Head Master, Ridley Tankersley, at firstname.lastname@example.org.