PHT World Series XVIII Recap!

The 18th edition of the Pour House Trivia World Series tied a record as we gathered 114 of the region’s best trivia teams at Hager Hall in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Even with an enormous level of trivia talent in the room, the favorite was still the defending champion Dave Martinez School of Management, who had won three of the last five titles and had never finished lower than second place in five World Series appearances.  So how did it all go down on Sunday afternoon?


Our championship began with a three-part question in which each answer ended with either “IF”, “AND”, or “BUT”.  We looked at an alternate version of the classic short story “The Three Little Pigs” as well as this recent biographical film:

On the Basis of Sex

With most teams cruising out of the gate, the final two questions of the opening round quickly separated the field.  First up, this clever vocabulary question:

–> The names of both a Honda car model introduced in 1972 and a 1997 movie starring Mira Sorvino fit this specific distinction.  The South American shrub known as a divi-divi is the longest word in the dictionary to fit this specific distinction.  What is this distinction?

Since the car model referenced in this question was the Honda Civic, this led to the most common wrong answer of ‘palindromes’.  Despite its double-speak nature, the word divi-divi is not a palindrome.  Instead, divi-divi, Civic, and “Mimic” (The Mira Sorvino film) are all words which are comprised only of Roman numerals.  After just 31% of the field earned points here, we closed the opening stanza with another difficult question, this time in the category of the NFL Playoffs:

–> Though it appeared in three consecutive NFC Championship games earlier this decade, which team has failed to reach the playoffs in each of the last five seasons?

Just under half of our teams gave us the correct response of the San Francisco 49ers, who found success from 2011 to 2013 with quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.  Eight teams recorded a perfect first round score:

  • Dave Martinez School of Management
  • Ralf Fines
  • PC Principals
  • Cher’s Zombie Army
  • Smarter Than We Look
  • Ingenious Bastards
  • Avocados to Crabs
  • J. T. Snow School of Babysitting.


The World Series audio question featured three songs whose titles reference the theatre: “Applause” by Lady Gaga, “The Show Must Go On” by Queen, and “Take a Bow” by Madonna.  Just over one-fourth of our teams picked up bonus points with all three correct answers.  Next, we took a ride on this unique vehicle:

L L Bean

We continued with the most difficult bonus question of the first half.  After most of the field recognized the backstory behind the Vincent Van Gogh Painting “The Starry Night”, only 22% of our teams earned two bonus points by also knowing that it is currently housed in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City.  Other second round topics included the TV sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and the recent video games “Super Mario Odyssey” and “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey”.  None of our teams recorded a perfect second round score.


The clouds rolled in for the World Series halftime page, as our teams were asked to decipher song lyric “word clouds” such as this:


The bottom half of the halftime page dealt with the favorite foods of fictional characters.  This halftime page yielded perfect scores to 15% of the field while the overall average landed at 16.5 points.  These were your highest scoring teams from the first half of World Series XVIII:

  • J. T. Snow School of Babysitting:  90
  • Ralf Fines:  90
  • Hamster Condiments:  89
  • Athletic Supporters:  87
  • Hundo P:  87


We kicked off the second half with a question in the the Three Clues format, but these first two clues gave us the most difficult bonus question of the entire game:

CLUE 1: Burger King is currently headquartered in this city’s metropolitan area.

CLUE 2: It was officially incorporated in 1896 after Julia Tuttle encouraged a railroad mogul to expand into the area, making it the only major U.S. city to be founded by a woman.

At this point, only 12% of the field earned these hard-fought bonus points by turning in the correct answer of Miami.  Next, we discussed the derivation of the phrase “It’s Greek to me” and this religious landmark:

Angkor Wat

The majority of our teams could identify a description of the Cambodian temple Angkor Wat, but only 17% of the field picked up two bonus points by also knowing that it was NOT a Buddhist temple, but was built to honor the Hindu god Vishnu.  We closed the third round with a question regarding these figures from American history:

John CalhounDaniel Webster

Why did 19th century politicians always looked so angry in their portraits?  J. T. Snow School of Babysitting moved into sole possession of the lead after posting the only perfect score of the third round.


The final round of World Series XVIII opened with a relatively easy question regarding boy bands, before moving on to what proved to be the most difficult wagering question of the game:

–> Likely an homage to Donald Trump’s best-selling book, a 1998 collection of Star Wars comics subtitled “The Art of the Deal” focuses on which character, whose likeness appears on the cover?

Just under 30% of our teams responded correctly with Jabba the Hutt.  Next we asked the field to identify either one of the two NBA players who have each had their jersey retired by three different teams.  Naming Wilt Chamberlain was no problem for most teams, but only 15% of the field earned bonus points by also naming this “Pistol” as the second answer:

Pete Maravich

After concluding the final round with a three-part qord scramble featuring the titles of Charles Dickens novels, Meet the Press posted the only perfect score of the final round.  These were your highest scoring World Series teams heading into the final question:

  • J. T. Snow School of Babysitting:  162
  • PC Principals:  155
  • Dave Martinez School of Management:  154
  • Dr. Leo Marvin and Associates:  152
  • Hundo P:  151

FINAL QUESTION (12.3% success rate):

–> There are 16 states in the contiguous U.S. whose capital city is also its most populous city.  Which of these states does NOT border any of the other fifteen?

With virtually every team waiting until the last second to turn in a response, the suspense was higher than any previous world Series.  As we eliminated the wrong answers one slide at a time, many of our top teams watche their championship hopes slip away.  In the end, 17 teams gave us this correct answer:

The most populous city in Iowa is its state capital Des Moines, while each of its six bordering states do not fit the same description.  After leading the field for the entire game, J. T. Snow School of Babysitting was one of the 14 teams that answered correctly, hanging on for its second PHT World Series title.  Fittingly, our champions were also the only team in the field to answer all 21 wagering questions correctly.

Another championship is in the books!  Thank you to all of our loyal teams for another successful season and a highly competitive World Series.  We’ll see you back at Hager Hall in June!


1) J.T. Snow School of Babysitting 168
2) Dave Martinez School of Management 165
3) It’s Mueller Time (wins 3rd place tiebreaker) 160
4) Power Vacuum 160
5) Rock the Cash Bar 152
T-6) Unsavories 151
T-6) Fat Kids Are Hard to Kidnap 151
8) Killer Snails 150
9) Gouda ‘Nuff For Me 148 
T-10) Meet The Press 143
T-10) PC Principals 143
T-12) Dr. Leo Marvin and Associates 140
T-12) Rum Ham 140
T-14) Hundo P 139
T-14) Sexual Chocolate 139
T-16) George Washington’s Camel 137
T-16) How Did I Get Here? 137
T-16) Hamster Condiments 137
T-19) High School Prom 136
T-19) His and Her Peas 136
T-21) Space Force Marching Band 135
T-21) Stink Floyd 135
23) Southpaw Fish 134
T-24) Arrondissements of Ouagadougou 132
T-24) Bueller… Bueller… 132
T-24) MAJ 132
T-24) Kitten Mittens 132
T-28) Flight Level Awesome 131
T-28) My Black Hole Just Exploded 131
T-28) Cher’s Zombie Army 131
T-31) Fan Club 130
T-31) Comfortably Dum 130
33) Three Clues One Disaster 129
34) Five Dollar Boob Job 128
T-35) Smarter Than We Look 127
T-35) Cultured Heathens 127
T-35) Uranus Fly Trap 127
T-35) Cuginis Now Offering Free Beer 127
T-39) Teachers 126
T-39) Charging Our Fireballs 126
T-39) Irish Beer Mafia 126
T-39) Blockheads 126
43) Athletic Supporters 125
T-44) Clashburn 124
T-44) Smarty Pants 124
T-46) Trojan Pride 123
T-46) Wiseacres 123
T-46) Uncle Jack 123
T-49) Brain Freeze 122
T-49) Witiots 122
T-49) Washington Foreskins 122
T-52) Griffindorks 121
T-52) Simple Minds 121
54) Anything But Sports 120
T-55) Punslingers 119
T-55) Save the Clock Tower 119
57) Ralf Fines 118
T-58) Just Good Enough 116
T-58) 1-2-3 Drink 116
60) Thoroughly Screwed 115
61) Identical Tentacles 114
T-62) All Glory to the Hypnotoad 113
T-62) Friends Jennings 113
T-64) Avocados to Crabs 112
T-64) Tokyo Tentacle Storm 112
T-64) Bet Smart 112
T-67) Bonesaw 111
T-67) Blood Legion 111
T-67) Chef Goldblum’s Raptor Bites 111
T-67) Charlie’s Angels 111
T-67) Literally Anything 111
72) Ingenious Bastards 109
T-73) Leprachauns 108
T-73) Shoes for Feet 108
T-73) Vitrifers 108
T-73) Tuna Noodle Casserole 108
T-77) Zambookie 107
T-77) Breadsticks 107
T-77) Castle Greyskull 107
T-77) Half Nelson 107
T-81) Super NOVA 103
T-81) Crusty Broads 103
83) Shakeweight 102
84) Crystal Methodists 101
T-85) Stupid Sexy Flanders 100
T-85) Momentary Lapse of Reason 100
T-85) Spiritual Growth Hormone 100
88) Singing Inferno 99
T-89) Befuddled 98
T-89) I Don’t Know Who 98
91) Special Eds 97
T-92) Our Cup Size is Stanley 95
T-92) Vitamin R 95
94) Not Your Team 94
95) Irregardlessly Unrevelant 93
T-96) Tequila Mockingbird 92
T-96) Your Mom 92
T-98) Mud Duck Hunt Club 91
T-98) Threat Level Midnight 91
100) E = MC Hammer 89
101) Spontaneous Combustion 88
T-102) Ace of Spades 86
T-102) Sloppy Seconds 86
T-104) This is How We Go Down 85
T-104) Gemsters 85
106) Holy Shirts and Pants 83
107) Where’s Len? 82
108) Knuckleheads 80
T-109) Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins 78
T-109) Prestige Worldwide 78
T-109) 1KD 78
112) Mom and Dad Save the World 70
113) Juneau 66
114) JFKFC 40