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A pub quiz is a quiz held in a pub or bar. These events are also called quiz nights or trivia nights and may be held in other settings. Pub quizzes may attract customers to a pub who are not found there on other days. The pub quiz is a modern example of a pub game. Although different pub quizzes can cover a range of formats and topics, they have many features in common. The pub quiz was established in the UK in the 1970s and became part of British culture. The Great British Pub Quiz challenge is an annual event.
The pub quiz was established in the UK in the 1970s to get people to come drinking on quieter nights. Redtooth runs an annual Great British Pub Quiz challenge, with more than 600 pubs taking part in 2012.
A 2009 study put the number of regular weekly pub quizzes in the UK at 22,445, and one website has counted approximately 2,000 regular weekly quizzes in the US.
Pub quizzes (also known as live trivia, or table quizzes) are often weekly events and will have an advertised start time, most often in the evening.
While specific formats vary, most pub quizzes depend on answers being written in response to questions which may themselves be written or announced by a quizmaster.
Generally someone (either one of the bar staff or the person running the quiz) will come around with pens and quiz papers, which may contain questions or may just be blank sheets for writing the answers on. A mixture of both is common, in which case often only the blank sheet is to be handed in. Traditionally a member of the team hands the answers in for adjudication to the quiz master or to the next team along for marking when the answers are called.
It is up to the quizzers to form teams, which are generally based on tables, though if one table has a large group around it they may decide to split up. Some pubs insist on a maximum team size (usually between six and ten). The team members decide on a team name, often a supposedly humorous phrase or pun, which must be written on all papers handed in.
People often have to pay to participate – ranging from around 50p to £5 per person. This is often pooled to provide prize money. Many pub quizzes require no payment at all, as the event is simply a way to get paying customers into the venue, typically on less busy nights of the week.
The person asking the questions is known as the quizmaster. Quizmasters also mark and score answers submitted by teams, although formats exist where teams will mark each other's answer sheets.
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