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.
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.
NATIONAL TRIVIA DAY DATES