People just need to go where everybody knows their...well you get the picture. In short, society was just waiting for something to dethrone karaoke night as the pub favorite - and now we believe its finally here...trivia night. We were curious so we conducted some deep research to see exactly when trivia night broke into the mainstream.
To answer that we need only go back to the 70s when a business from the United Kingdom started organizing pub trivia nights in hopes to bring more patrons into drinking establishments on slow nights. Cash prizes, drinking deals and inexpensive trivia entertainment caught on like wildfire and now you can find a trivia night almost any day of the week somewhere in town.
If you walk into Lewiston's Pedro O'Hara's on any given Tuesday you will hear the booming laughs of people decompression after a long day of work. Coworkers, friends, sport teams conversing, debating and heckling each other in a friendly manner during the pub's trivia night. Some truly rely on this time to escape their lives and who better to lead this mental breakout? Is it Rosemary the telephone operator? Henry the mild-mannered janitor? No, Lewiston turns to Lisa "Ryan" Haggerty.
Pedro O'Hara's co-owner Troy Kavanaugh and Haggerty started tinkering with the idea of a trivia night at Pedro's Brunswick location four years ago. Now she scours the internet, television, local events - in fact almost anything she can get her hands on to help bring a well-rounded assortment of questions to her crew.
"(Trivia) quickly became a huge hit with the locals and with the Bowdoin College students," Haggerty said. "We knew we had something special." From there co-owners Kavanaugh and Bill Welch decided to also try a trivia night in Lewiston. That too caught on and now, like many other trivia nights around the globe, their friendly battle of the brains has spawned a playoff where at the end...only one team is left standing.
Despite the game being a competition in which all hope for the top cash prize, Haggerty believes its something much simpler that keeps people coming back for more. "I think people like that it isn't 100% serious and that they can sass back at me with an understanding that it's all in good fun," she said. " I love the fact that people come back every week. I really think of all the teams as friends and I hope they feel the same."
There are few people out there in our world that attempt to make us laugh and think at the same time. Sure there are plays, movies and even comedians but something as simple as a trivia night allows people the chance to not only learn something while laughing but also allows them an outlet to socially interact with friends and mediators. Its a great combination and is good for the body and mind. Doctors have said for decades now that laughing and stimulating the brain is good for one's health.
So after gathering 30 questions a week for four years we had to ask this mediator to dig deep into her bag and pull out her favorite trivia question over that span. She replied with a questions that asked her patrons to name the only U.S state that ends in its own postal abbreviation.
She likes this question for its not impossible to figure it out. Do you know the answer? If not then maybe you need to freshen up those brain cells and find yourself a trivia night. So lets raise a glass and thank the trivia mediators of our society for providing us with a brief, yet much needed, timeout.