Question: What Hamilton event, started in 2007, has become one of the most popular campus traditions?

Stop by The Little Pub on a Tuesday night right before 8 p.m., and you’ll find students lined up outside the building, rain or shine, hoping to get the best seats in the house for Trivia Night. On average, 100 players show up each week to test their knowledge, win prizes, and spend time with friends.

Here’s how it works. Each contest consists of eight rounds: four “standard” rounds with four questions each, a photo round, a biography round, and two bonus rounds. In rounds one through four, students are asked questions on topics ranging from ancient Greek literature to 2023 Grammy winners. In the photo round, teams must identify nine images that share a common theme, such as birth month gemstones or Muppets. The biography round includes three clues with an increasing amount of information about an anonymous person. During the bonus round, teams are asked to list 8-10 items within a specific category, for example, the largest states by landmass or most recent first ladies. Trivia Night ends at 10 p.m. with an additional bonus round consisting of two questions.

Teams have a few minutes — or the length it takes to play one song — to write their answer on a slip of paper and bring it to the hosts in the front. The top three teams that end the night with the most points win a variety of prizes, including gift cards to local restaurants.

Jack Bloom ’24 and Jade Joyce ’25 host Trivia Night.
Trivia Night hosts Jack Bloom ’24 and Jade Joyce ’25. Photo: Oliver Zhao ’24

Jade Joyce ’25 has been a Trivia Night host since the fall of her sophomore year. “I had attended a few Trivia Nights my first year but applied on a whim with my friends Owen [Dzierzgowski ’25] and Katie [Mathis ’25]. We thought it would be a fun way to get involved and spend time together. All of us were super interested in the actual making of the questions and the silly emails announcing the event each week.”

Jack Bloom ’24 joined the team in fall 2023 when Owen and Katie went abroad. “I wanted a fun new activity for my senior year,” he says. “I knew that I would have a bit more time on my hands and always loved going to Trivia as a participant, so decided to try my hand at hosting.”

Bloom and Joyce say that they come up with niche and thought-provoking questions by pulling from current events, making up random questions that come to mind, and using concepts from class. They also peruse archives of TV game shows, such as Jeopardy! and Million Dollar Pyramid, for inspiration.

Not only do the questions posted at Trivia Night pique students’ academic and personal interests, but the event itself serves as a social spot.

Ainsley Novack ’25 has attended nearly every Trivia Night since her first year on campus. “I was drawn to Trivia because it’s fun, The Little Pub is so cute, we love the popcorn, and it’s such a good way to hang out with your friends on a weeknight,” she says. Novack also likes the aesthetics. The wood-paneled walls adorned with vintage sports memorabilia and photos of Hamilton over the decades make the space feel like a cozy den in the woods, she says, adding, “When I’m at the pub, it feels like I’m off campus, but I’m still close to home and with my friends.”

“It’s super fun to see different people as they come up to bring their answers and build relationships with teams and the pub tenders as the semester goes on.”

Joyce echoes Novack’s sentiments. One of her favorite things about being a host is interacting with fellow students. “People come with teams, but there is a bit of time between questions. So people circulate around to other teams to say hi to friends and catch up. It’s super fun to see different people as they come up to bring their answers and build relationships with teams and the pub tenders as the semester goes on.”

Student organizations also have the opportunity to collaborate on Trivia Night. WHCL and HamVotes have aided the hosts in writing questions that center around their organizations, while the magazine Signature Style has done photo rounds with fashion models and a biography round featuring a designer.

Throughout his time as a host, Bloom has learned the importance of fact-checking and asking very specific questions. “There can often be different ways to interpret questions and different sources giving different answers for the same questions. People can really stand behind their answers, so we have gotten good about making sure we are asking what we mean and that we are confident with the answer we are judging as correct.”

How would you do at Trivia Night?

Here’s a sampling of questions from Jan. 23, 2024. Hover over the card on desktop or tap the card on mobile to see the answer.

About Catherine & Oliver

Catherine Vogt ’24
Student Writer

A world politics major with minors in history and religious studies, Vogt is a student writer for the Communications Office, a HamVotes captain, Italian language tutor, and first-year course mentor. Having held numerous roles with WHCL 88.7FM, she now chairs the Media Board, overseeing all 12 of Hamilton’s student publications.

Yunhai “Oliver” Zhao ’24
Student Photographer

A psychology and environmental studies major, Zhao is a senior photography intern for the Communications Office, a digital media intern for the Research and Instructional Design team, and a student photographer for the Athletics Department. He is also a Community Advisor in Kirkland Residence Hall.

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