Quiz Bingo, skill versus chance
Quiz Bingo. How does it work? And why do venues incorporate Quiz Bingo into their trivia night?
A good trivia night must be entertaining. Patrons must enjoy it or they won't come back. It must be challenging without being impossible, in other words, not too easy, and not too hard. And it must be fair. Fair from the patron's point of view, is the feeling they have at least a chance of winning a prize. Not that they need to win, they just have to feel they are in with a chance.
A trivia night can be run in a perfectly legitimate and above board manner, but if one team always dominates, the other teams can start to lose this feeling of fairness. It is not based on fact but perception.
One way to keep the sense of fairness is to incorporate an element of unpredictability or chance and this is where the Bingo concept comes in. This is a little counter intuitive. The fact is, the best team may not win because of the element of chance and that means the contest isn't fair. But to all the other teams the chance of winning adds to their sense of fairness.
It can be incorporated to cover the whole quiz or can be used for just one round. A whole quiz done in this style typically has 25 or 36 questions in total. One round is typically 9 questions.
Here I will explain the application for using the bingo concept for just one round of nine questions. The idea can easily be expanded to cover a whole trivia night.
Each team is given an answer sheet that has nine answer boxes laid out in a 3x3 grid. The numbers from one to nine are placed randomly in a corner of each box. Every team gets an answer grid with the numbers placed in different locations.
Bingo answer grid
The teams write their answers for each numbered question in the appropriate box. When the round is finished the numbers from 1 to 9 are readout in random order. The teams mark their cards and the first team to get 3 numbers marked in a row, a column or a diagonal shouts "Bingo". The quiz master then takes that team's sheet and checks the answers. The team gets 10 points less one point for any incorrect answers in the row. (If more than one team shouts bingo all the teams are treated the same way. 10 points less 1 point per wrong answer.)
The host then continues reading out the random numbers from 1 to 9. The next teams that shout bingo get 8 points less the number of incorrect answers in that row. The following teams are awarded 6 points and then 4 points less incorrect answers.
With a 3x3 grid all teams will fill a row, a column or a diagonal when the 6th number is drawn. No team can win until the 3rd number is drawn. In this case all points should be awarded between the drawing of the 3rd and 6th number. Of course with a few drinks under the belt some teams may call their bingo a round late.
With regard to the random order of drawing the numbers, you can use bingo balls in a cage if you have them. But I have found writing the numbers 1 to 9 on separate pieces of paper, placing them in a bowl and having different teams draw the numbers from a hat is a very acceptable way of doing the draw. You can select teams by their position on the scoreboard, for instance the last team in the points standing might get the first pick and so on…
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