The History of KVSC’s Trivia Marathon
Trivia Weekend was created to alleviate Minnesota’s infamous cabin fever and debuted in 1980 with 25 teams participating. KVSC’s Trivia Weekend runs for 50 consecutive hour each February. In 2023 Trivia Weekend is celebrating its 44th anniversary. Annually the contest attracts about 50 teams with more than 20 teams playing via the Internet from various parts of the country and globally. Additionally, KVSC presented a ‘mini-trivia’ on April 18, 2020 called U Can’t Touch This in response to help teams, phone bank volunteers and friends quarantining at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100 teams registered to compete in the special 10-hour contest.
In 2021, the station’s management modified the contest in light of the ongoing pandemic. Some of the changes included reducing the contest from 50 to 33 hours (taking the overnight hours off Friday and Saturday), creating a remote volunteer phone bank and utilizing live on air hosts from various locations in the Midwest.
In 2023, the contest will be 40-hours long with a hybrid volunteer format allowing for limited in-person volunteers and remote volunteers from the comfort of their home. The contest will go dark during the overnight hours of 2 a.m. – 7 a.m.
Historically, as the weekend grew in popularity over the years, so did its organizational sophistication. For many years we have seen teams join forces, and what was once an individual team can now be 2 to 4 teams combining into a super team. Visit our Trivia History page for more background on the contents, including the Hall of Fame.
How Does Trivia Weekend Work?
Each year, a different theme is chosen to pay homage to a particular phenomena or pop culture reference. Approximately 25% of the questions are based on the theme, the balance are all topics across the board. The questions asked represent a broad range of categories including but not limited to: movies, music, sports, science and history. Of course, teams can expect to be bombarded with many theme-based questions. After a team registers, it receives the official trivia kit, which includes a visual-trivia packet.
Trivia Weekend is typically scheduled for the second weekend of February and begins on Friday at 5 p.m. Participating teams will endure 40-50 hours of non-stop trivia. Each hour, nine questions are broadcast on KVSC 88.1FM. The contest also features speed rounds (double questions), audio and visual trivia as well as potentially “one and done” questions where teams get only one guess. Teams outside the Central Minnesota area are highly encouraged to play as well. Each year, many teams play nationwide and sometimes internationally via the KVSC webstream.
Teams call their guesses into the fantastic humans staffing the trivia phone bank hotlines. You keep guessing until a question is ‘closed’ or until you get the question right and are awarded points. The phone bank volunteers are incredible people who staff the hotlines the entire contest.
To ensure team success, we recommend that each team have a recording device in close proximity– it comes in handy when audio trivia questions are broadcast. There is no limit on the size of your team — the more members the better! The KVSC crew recommends that all teams have reference books, a steady supply of caffeine, extra cell phones and high speed Internet access. Please refer to the rules page to learn more about how to specifically compete.
Finally, KVSC’s Trivia Weekend would not succeed without the fantastic sponsors that supply food for the volunteers, prizes for the teams and financial support to pull off a major community event in St. Cloud and Central Minnesota!