Trivia Capital of the World

Have you ever shouted Jeopardy! answers at the TV? In the privacy of home, plenty of us love to show off our vast wealth of irrelevant knowledge; fewer are willing to go public with it. For the brave ones, the first Trivia Championships of North America is coming to the MGM Grand from July 8-10, giving everyday trivia buffs the chance to compete against some of the most successful game-show contestants in history.

The first-of-its-kind event will have individual and team competitions, as well as a panel discussion on Watson—the IBM computer that beat two former champions on Jeopardy! this year—and the opportunity to test for the chance to become a Jeopardy! contestant. The championships are open to all types of players, says event coordinator Paul Bailey, the North American director for the International Quizzing Association.

“Some people take it a little seriously because they think they’re going to be on a game show, and they might be kind of preparing for that,” he says. “Others just go with the flow and do it for fun. … It’s both academic and pop culture, a mix of trivia.”

There are no monetary prizes, just gold, silver and bronze medals—and the bragging rights that come with them. And there’s the chance to spar against the likes of Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games on Jeopardy! in 2004, and Kevin Olmstead, who won more than $2 million on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2001.

Registration for the championships is $150 at TCONA.com through July 6. For those preparing for the event, here’s a little inside advice: You might want to brush up on your Vegas knowledge. Just sayin’.

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We laid a marble floor with no thought whatsoever. It was as if the Clampetts had moved into Green Valley Ranch. We bought when the market was sky high; we simply couldn’t wait—no matter that we had waited for two years while it crept up. May of 2004 seemed perfect. It was as if houses were about to go the way of good taste; people were bidding over list, lining up at model homes in the mornings as if for a concert. And somehow, despite our possession of average-size brains, this caused us to think, Let’s buy.

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