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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trivia 40 Stevens Point Wisconsin World’s Largest Trivia Contest or Worlds Largest Mass Google Search Contest? Cheating on huge scale!

If you are looking for who won the quiz you can find out here.


Unusual Google Search terms trends.

Some weird search terms were topping the Google trends chart today.

The plot thickens.

Even more odd was that up to 70% of the searches were being made from a very small geographical area. Namely Stevens Point, Wisconsin and Appleton, Wisconsin

The evidence trail is hot.

Three examples:

Search term “without the coupon it s called shoplifting”

Cheats 1 cut Click image to enlarge.

Search term “twisty teasers”

cheats 2 cut Click image to enlarge.

Search term “felix unger”

cheats 3 Click image to enlarge.

The final act.

Well it turns out that little Stevens Point is, just now, hosting it’s 40th Annual World's Largest Trivia contest, Trivia 40 The trivia contest has a theme which changes each year, this time it is a Humphrey Bogart theme.

Stevens Point normally has a population of 24,000 people. But during the contest the population swells by up to 50%. This year the contest has 450 teams with about 12,000 players many having travelled from afar to take part.

It is obvious that very many of these players has made sure that they have access to the internet and in particular Google. Naughty, naughty. Busted.

Here is looking at you Google!

Polybore suggests they change the image on their homepage to:

looking at you


  1. You've got to be kidding me..."Naughty, naughty. Busted"? lol...the writers of the questions have realized that people have been using Google for years. They now write the questions in a way that makes it tough to find the answers even with Google...obviously it doesn't stop people from trying. Yes, gone are the days of just answering questions using brainstorming and encyclopedias, but we've moved into the 21st century and the game is still fun.

  2. They're definitely adapting the questions for the internet age. They are VERY difficult to find and there is a short time limit to search for answers. You have to have a broad base of knowledge of where to look and what to look for to find the answers. It's still a LOT Of fun.

  3. Thanks for the comments Kim and Lisa. The quiz does sound like fun. What caught polybore's interest on google trends were the weird things that people were searching for that did not have any specific Google results. So it looks like the organisers of the Quiz have done an excellent job of making their quiz questions as google proof as possible.

  4. polybore, it's not a quiz. Last one of those I gave was when I was teaching 9th grade. This is a contest and if you would try to google your way into the record books.


  5. Polybore, the only thing naughty here is your jump to conclusions. The contest fully expects participants to use the Internet as one of many resources for coming up with answers.

  6. Contest, quiz, a rose is a rose and all that!

    If you take part in a contest/quiz then your knowledge base ought to be in your own head, not those of countless others on the interweb.

    Obviously searching the interweb for other people's knowledge bases counts as dirty cheating - otherwise WHY would the orgnisers have to go to such lengths to make the answers google-proof?