Teams and families from across the country are descending on Stevens Point this weekend for the 49th annual 90 FM Trivia Contest.
It’s billed as the World’s Largest Trivia Contest, and this year’s theme is “Trivia Rush of 49” with a Gold Rush of 1849 motif.
Quizmaster Jim “The Oz” Oliva says the Contest is 90 FM’s biggest annual fundraiser, and that it supports one of the largest student run radio stations in the country. “Keep the station on the air, keeping equipment in here that’s 21st century. Even though today we spoke at length about what kind of new turntables we’re going to get.”
Oliva says they’ve got some major purchases coming up. “We’ve got to replace the boards in both the studio and the production room.” The station’s backup transmitter also needs replacement.
Stevens Point mayor Mike Wiza says Trivia is a major boost for the local economy. “Hotels fill up. Stores do booming business with not only food to sustain people over the weekend, but the things that they buy only for trivia.” Not only that, but the people crowding Stevens Point to take part in the contest require special accommodations. “We loosen up parking because we’ve got so many people out there. Sometimes we have to change how the snow plows run.”
The Contest has turned into a homecoming or reunion event for friends and family who have spread out across the country. “Many of them just say, I don’t see these people all year,” says Oliva. “So I think it’s really cool that these teams can really come here, year after year, and hang out with their friends.” Some of the 350 teams that take part in the contest are now into their third generation of players.
The contest kicks off on Friday, April 13 at 6 pm and runs for 54 hours. If you want to know more about the contest and how to take part, you can log on to www.90fmtrivia.org.