Packed into booths at Union Station by JP’s, six-person teams compete for the first-place title at “Trivia Night.” Held at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and open to all Kansas State students and faculty, this six-round trivia competition at the Student Union grows in popularity each week.
Zach Perez, senior in journalism and emcee for the weekly competition, said he enjoys the job because it provides students with a laid-back, stress-relieving activity.
“I think it’s very fun watching everyone get, like, really into it and very competitive,” Perez said. “I just like to see people having fun, honestly. That’s why I like doing this job: it’s just making sure I give people a space to chill and not think about school for a little bit.”
What sets JP’s Trivia Night apart from other Manhattan trivia competitions is that participants have the opportunity to provide input on the categories they’d like to see each week.
“The way we pick categories is I actually just solicit anyone who follows our Instagram, which is just @jpstrivia,” Perez said. “People can send in any kind of categories they want, and then usually I’ll try and put stuff together that has a lot of variety.”
Perez does his best to make sure topics are selected from a wide range of students to avoid one team having undue influence.
“Usually, I’m able to recognize who’s from what team because we have a lot of regulars,” Perez said. “I try and keep it pretty spread out so it’s not just all categories from one team.”
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The categories aren’t the only draw, however. Prizes are awarded to the teams that place first, second and third. Students have the opportunity to win up to a $40 credit at JP’s for appetizers and meals.
Students who stumble upon trivia are often hooked. Max Harman, senior in biochemistry and global food systems leadership and first-time competitor, thoroughly enjoyed his first Trivia Night experience.
“The topics are really fun, really topical for college students and for our age group, and it’s a good crowd,” Harman said. “It seems like a pretty good atmosphere.”
Many students come back weekly for Trivia Night, some having formed solid teams with established team names. One of those students is Walker Sheldon, junior in industrial engineering and trivia veteran. Seeking out trivia in the Manhattan area, Sheldon happened upon JP’s.
“I was looking for some trivia in Manhattan, and one of my coworkers mentioned that there’s trivia at JP’s,” Sheldon said. “I asked some of my fraternity brothers to come with me, and we’ve been coming since then.”
Generally lasting an hour and a half, Trivia Night at Union Station by JP’s is split into six rounds of questions. The first half consists of two categories and a halftime question. The second half is similar, consisting of two categories and a final question. Participants can wager four, six, eight or ten points during the first half and three, five, seven or nine points during the second half. The halftime question is worth 15 points, and the final question is worth 20.
When asked about his favorite part of Trivia Night, Walker Sheldon grinned at his teammates.
“Winning,” Sheldon said.
K-State students’ next opportunity for a win at Trivia Night is 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, at Union Station by JP’s.