The idiot savants of Team E = MC Hammered are trying to outsmart their boozed-up opponents, Team Brigham Young and the Magic Jammies. PubQuiz Master Colleen McGinn takes to the mic and asks, “True or false: the pilgrims aboard the Mayflower landed in Plymouth Rock and didn’t continue to their destination in Virginia due to lack of beer.” (Answer below.)
This is but one of the 5,000 offbeat trivia questions McGinn and her fellow PubQuiz Master Malia Macheel have tossed at Park City bar-goers since they launched MegaMind at Wasatch Brew Pub in 2012. The weekly wits-twisting battle royale quickly outgrew itself and moved to Flanagan’s that same year.
An average of 15 teams compete nightly—with up to 25 at times—and answer questions covering a wide swath of topics during three rounds. The first round includes general questions, the second features thematic questions, and the third uses either visual or audio cues. “We like structuring our questions by slipping in fun facts,” Macheel says. “We are saving people from life’s awkward moments by giving them something to talk about.”
The rules are simple: 1) PubQuiz masters are always right, 2) no shouting out answers, and 3) absolutely no using cell phones. Scores are awarded on a point system, and each night’s winning team earns a $50 gift certificate to Flanagan’s. The cost is $5 for teams of two to five people with an additional charge of $5 for teams over five. Anyone can join at any time, but the faithful compete in continuous six-week tournaments.
And PubQuiz players get to do good while they decompress: $2 of every $5 entry fee is donated to a local charity. The winning team from each six-week tournament gets to pick which charity receives the payout, which in the past has included Best Friends Animal Society and the Kimball Art Center. “For us, the charitable aspect brings an engaging new light to pub trivia,” McGinn says.
The MegaMind PubQuiz is running this fall at the Park City Brewery.
The answer to the Mayflower beer question: True