Friday the 13th may be unlucky for some, but the Trivia Gods smiled upon Team AABANY that night as AABANY’s team took first place at the fifth annual AAJA-NY (Asian American Journalists Association of New York) Trivia Bowl, held at the Broad Street Ballroom in New York’s Financial District.

The Trivia Bowl is AAJA-NY’s annual fundraiser, raising money to support APA students pursuing careers in journalism. AABANY has taken part in the Trivia Bowl since inception (except one year when it conflicted with another event). The AABANY team has consistently landed at the top of the rankings but has never won the Trivia Bowl – until now.

The categories this year were:

  • Round 1: Diversity and the Oscars
  • Round 2: Summer Olympics
  • Round 3: Einstein, Geography and Literature
  • Round 4: Current Events
  • Round 5: U.S. Presidential Elections

After Round 1, Team AABANY ended up in second place. After Round 2, we took first place and stayed at the top through the next few rounds.

The rules were straightforward: Each round had 12 questions, each question was read twice by the MC, and each team had to submit their answers in writing on a sheet that was provided by the organizers. All smartphones and devices had to be put away during the round. After each round, the sheets were collected and submitted to a judging panel, which this year was comprised of Hon. John Lansden, Hon. Lydia Lai, Hon. Laurie Lau, and Hon. Alexander Tisch. The judges had the answer key and marked the sheets for correctness.

This year’s team consisted of Chris Kwok (Team Captain), Yang Chen, Tsui Yee, Francis Chin, Gabriel Arce Yee, Louis Villella, Ligee Gu, Gary Malone, Kevin Hsi, and Lia Tieu. Most of the members had taken part in previous Trivia Bowls, and their experience came through. We conferred on each question, and Lia acted as the scribe, neatly writing in each answer. For questions that we were not sure about, we returned to them at the end of the round and put our heads together to come up with what we believed to be the correct answer. There was great discipline, teamwork and camaraderie among Team AABANY. Through each round, we got most of the questions right, displaying a level of consistency that helped propel us to victory.

Here are a few questions from each round that stumped us (see how you fare):

Round 1: Diversity and the Oscars – In which year did Prince win best original score for the soundtrack to Purple Rain? (It was the only question we got wrong in this category.)

Round 2: Summer Olympics – Who was the first Asian American man to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States in diving, in 1948? He was also the first to win back-to-back gold medals in Olympic platform diving and later coached Greg Louganis.

Round 3: Einstein, Geography and Literature – What is the smallest country on the mainland of Africa? (Sorry, Tsui – we should have listened to you!)

Round 4: Current Events – In what city was the 2016 Super Bowl held? (Clearly, we are not football fans.)

Round 5: Presidential Elections – How many delegates are needed to win the Democratic Party nomination? (We were off by 7.)

We will post answers later. Try to answer the questions without using Google or the internet (like we had to)!

After the results were announced, we were told that it was the first time in AAJA-NY Trivia Bowl that no news organization took first place. Team AABANY makes AAJA-NY Trivia Bowl history! (It only took five years.) Now we have a title to defend.

Congratulations to all the teams that participated, and thanks to AAJA-NY for organizing such a fun and exciting event. Hope to see you next year!

(Photos courtesy of Kevin Hsi.)