Q. What holiday celebrates little known factoids?
A. National Trivia Day, January 4.
Our obsession for trivia has been part of popular culture for many decades and it’s easy to understand why. Most of us are naturally competitive and social beings and trivia blends the two perfectly. If you enjoy wowing your friends with interesting stats and frivolous facts, today is your day to shine!
History of National Trivia Day
One of the first forms of what we know today as a trivia game debuted on the 1940s radio program “Take It or Leave It”. Not too long after this in 1964, “Jeopardy!” entered millions of Americans’ homes through television and remains arguably America’s most iconic quiz show.
At the same time during the 60s, trivia night swept across college campuses all over the US (think competitive and social plus beer). Then, in the 70s, pub quizzes emerged in the United Kingdom to entice people to head to their local pubs on traditionally slower evenings.
As trivia continued to gain momentum, Trivial Pursuit emerged in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1979 thanks to Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, becoming one of the world’s most famous board games. Since then, our love for obscure facts continues to take the world by storm through online gaming and other technology-driven formats.
While some people may find trivia “trivial,” it can be pretty serious business for others. Leagues and competitions are common across the globe and the competitive nature of some has led to drastic measures including cheating. Mobile phones are often banned from competitions to deter secret searches for answers.
At the end of the day, it’s the silly facts and camaraderie that endear trivia to so many competitively social people.
National Trivia Day timeline
“Trivialities: Bits of Information of Little Consequence” by Logan Pearsall Smith included short essays about small things and commonplace moments.
The Great Midwest Trivia Contest launched at Lawrence University in Wisconsin with the kick-off question: Who is Superman’s father? (Answer – Jor-El)
Wildly popular board game quizzes players in six categories: geography, entertainment, sports & leisure, history, arts & literature, and science & nature.
“Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader”, filled with trivia, fun-facts, word origins and tons of other random information, brings laughter to the loo.
National Trivia Day FAQs
How much time do people spend playing trivia?
According to mobile trivia app, “QuizUp”, the average gamer spends 40 minutes per day playing trivia.
What was the most popular trivia question about 2019?
There were many and you can find numerous “2019: year in review” quizzes online. To get you started, have a go here:
(Q) On April 10, 2019, Astronomers announced they had, at last, captured an image of what?
(A) A black hole.
Who’s the GOAT on “Jeopardy!”?
Taking home over $4.6 million, Brad Rutter is not only the highest money winner of all time on “Jeopardy!”, but he also holds that title across all television game shows in the US.
National Trivia Day Activities
Make work meetings fun
Take a few fun trivia questions to each meeting to get the creative juices flowing. The winner gets to leave 5 minutes early. Thanks, co-worker!
Challenge your friends
What’s better than a group of friends, buckets of brew, and Trivia Night? Not much! A true team sport, trivia night let’s everyone pitch in with their favorite frivolous facts to rack up prizes and free beer.
Stroke your ego
Visit Sporcle for over one million quizzes on absolutely endless topics. Choose to be timed or play along with others — there are many ways to up the ante of difficulty. Either way, the website is loaded with metrics to flaunt your trivia-gaming mastery.
5 Bits Of Trivia On Trivial Pursuit
Today, the color for the Arts & Literature playing piece is purple; it was originally brown.
The original version of the board game included 6,000 questions — one question per category on 1,000 different cards.
Numerous special edition versions of the original Trivial Pursuit game have been created with the most popular being Trivial Pursuit: Master Edition.
Pop Culture Popularity
Other special edition versions of the game found in the top 10 best sellers pay tribute to Friends the TV Series, the full genre of horror movies, and the Harry Potter movie collection.
Hall of Famer
Trivial Pursuit was inducted into the “Games Hall of Fame” in 1993 and exceeded 100 million games sold by 2014.
Why We Love National Trivia Day
It’s a party-maker
It’s super easy to organize trivia night at the pub down the street or at your place. Introverts don’t even have to break a sweat over the social commitment since participating is easy and carefree. Whether you have a board game, gaming website or good old-fashioned pencil and paper, the most difficult decision will be which beer and apps to serve.
It’s an ice-breaker
Trivia is an innocent, intriguing way to start a conversation so keep a fun fact or two in your back pocket for when you meet new people. Pick a universally interesting topic you happen to love (travel, sports, holidays, pets) and see how quickly you find common ground. Be careful, the conversation may last all night….
It’s a natural high
Learning new things keeps our brains active and alert. It also leads to positive feelings as dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, is released enhancing our sense of happiness and accomplishment.
National Trivia Day dates