How’d you first discover your love for trivia?
Growing up, at 7:30 every evening, my mom and I would put Jeopardy! on and watch it in the background, and over time, I would pay more attention to it. I’d compete with my mom to see who could answer first or see if either of us actually knew the answer. I also played Trivial Pursuit a few times—never actually how the game is supposed to be played with the board and everything, but just asking questions. And then getting older, going here to UNC, going to trivias up and down Franklin Street, I always had a great time. I feel like I have a random assortment of general knowledge that serves absolutely no purpose besides, you know, trivia.
Tell me about your preparation process.
It takes about three hours every week to write all the questions and pick out the music for the music round. Two rounds do not change: The first round is news. I write those questions later in the week, closer to trivia, so I have a full week of news to choose from and pick out six questions. [For the] music round, I just peruse Spotify, random searches of genres, decades, and grab a bag of songs. The other categories and rounds change week to week just depending on how I’m feeling—I might get some inspiration from something that goes on in my daily life or an idea I’ve had in the back of my mind.
What are some other categories you do?
I do Before and After, where every question has a two-part clue and the answer to the first part leads directly into the answer to the second part. For instance, one I came up with was “A Florida man wakes up in a blended family.” And that would be “Tom Brady Bunch.”
One category that I do every so often is Movie Title Math. So I’ll give you two movies that have a number in them, but I’m not going to tell you the number. For example: “Cheaper by the __ + __ Samurai.” So Cheaper by the Dozen plus Seven Samurai: the answer is 19.
Sometimes I do a random knowledge one or a science round, or a couple of rounds every so often about local stuff, like UNC history or Chapel Hill history or fun facts around our area.
If friends and family are in the crowd, how do you remain impartial?
Because I take trivia very seriously, I play no favorites whatsoever. You can ask my girlfriend or best friend, they’d say sometimes I’m even rooting against them. I don’t even let anybody see the categories I’m going to do for a Wednesday trivia, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend. She always tries to say ‘Oh, give me a hint for this week, a category.’ Nope, can’t do that. It doesn’t matter who you are—you just have to know trivia, and I’m not going to play favorites or give out pity points to anybody.
Of all places you could bring your trivia talent, why is Linda’s special?
It’s the people at Linda’s. The owner Chris [Carini] gave me this opportunity and I’ve known him throughout the years, and he trusts me enough to run a trivia night here. All the bartenders, the managers here—I know this is quote-unquote corporate speak—but it’s truly a Linda’s family here. There’s good bartenders and good bars all up and down Franklin Street, but the general vibe of this place and how welcoming they are to everybody— I could not imagine hosting trivia anywhere else but Linda’s
What’s your favorite moment from trivia?
Last summer. My mom knows I do trivia and she had been wanting to come, but she lives in Winston-Salem, so it’s an hour and a half drive … not the most convenient for her. But she really wanted to come to my trivia, so she came out one Wednesday. It was a really busy crowd, so she was able to see everybody there and how popular my trivia was. I knew she was coming, so I did this round about famous moms as a little nod to her. I said, “My mom’s here, let’s celebrate her this round.” Overall, the night was nothing too special—there wasn’t a record-breaking number of teams or a tight final score, but it was just fun, my mom seeing what I do.
Catch trivia at Linda’s Downbar every Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m.
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