Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lunchtime trivia - when 6,915 is better than 6,988

I have been able to play NTN Buzztime trivia at least one day a month over the last several months, and that has resulted in some noticeable improvements in my scores. I generally play Lunchtime Trivia, which consists of seven questions with a maximum 1,000 points per question. Therefore, if you answer all questions correctly AND quickly, you can get a perfect score of 7,000.

Because of recent gameplay, I've reached the point where a score below 5,000 is disappointing. Between August 20 and September 18, I've scored above 6,000 three times.

What this means is that I was able to answer every question correctly, although sometimes it took me a little while to get the correct answer. (For those who are unfamiliar with NTN Buzztime trivia games, most games allow you to change your answer, and most games eventually provide a hint about the correct answer. In these games, which include Lunchtime Trivia, it is therefore very possible to get more than one point on every single question.)

I've also noticed that ability to score well in trivia correlates with one's mood. If I'm stressed out about something, I know better than to try to play trivia, because I know that I won't do well.

Apparently I was rather unstressed yesterday.

I arrived at Lamppost Pizza in (west) Yorba Linda in time to play the noon Lunchtime Trivia game. I ended up doing OK - not spectacular, but not embarrassing, with a score of 5,262.

The second game was disappointing by my recent standards; I only score 4,875.

Then the 12:30 game started, and I was doing pretty well. I got three perfect scores in a row (again, answering correctly and quickly). And then I ended up with five perfect scores in a row.

That's when I realized that I had the possibility to do really well during this game.

Of course, things can change in an instant, I could blow the next two questions, and my perfect 5,000 for five questions could become another 5,262 for seven questions. But I went ahead and played the sixth question - and got it right.

At this point I was pleased because no matter what, I was going to get a score above 6,000. Perhaps only a 6,100 or something like that if I blew the seventh question, but it was still going to be a good score. I didn't remember it at the time, but I had scored 6,523 at Out of the Park Pizza on May 14. I knew that I had scored around that range, but certainly not near the 7,000 level.

Then the seventh question came up - and I received 988 points.

6,988. I was definitely happy. National rankings are not completely available at the time of the game, but I figured that I had a very good chance of making the top 3. There was a class of high school students at Lamppost at the time, and they probably had no idea why I was taking pictures of the score on the TV screen. I posted that picture, and others, to my personal Facebook account.

And then I decided that I'd play one more game.

I could lie to you and say that my 12:45 game resulted in a final perfect score of 7,000. But I guess I should tell you the truth - I only scored 6,915. I guess that when you're on a roll, you're on a roll. On my Facebook account, I joked and said that I should have played the lottery.

As I mentioned, national rankings are not available at the time that the games are played. So I didn't realize until this morning that my 6,988 score was NOT among the top three scores for the 12:30 game. I placed fourth.

But my lower 6,915 score at 12:45 WAS among its game's top three scores. Specifically, I'm now a silver medal holder.

My complete results from yesterday:

Of course, this probably means that I won't even crack a 3,000 score the next time that I play. But for me, it was an enjoyable afternoon.

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