I won the Beta Bowl this afternoon. And no, that isn't some kind of Greek cereal dish or an aquarium. It's a team Jeopardy!-like competition held once a year during Engineering week at USU. I went to watch, but when a new round came there was a team that needed a third member, so I signed right up. Jessica and Daniel were my teammates. Both electrical engineering students.
We were the last of eight teams to sign up, and they really hadn't planned on another round, but since there were two teams to compete they pushed us through.
They had rigged up a buzzer system that looked like it was an electrical engineer's senior design project. Nine hand-held buzzers connected by curly phone wire to a box with LEDs and a shot clock.
Categories included options like Jelly Belly Flavors, Economics, 12-Letter Words, and Let's Get Bizet! Although a few of the categories did seem to skew to nerd-dom (J.R.R. Tolkein, and War of the Worlds, which was all about science-fiction films), it was more than balanced by categories relating to opera and fine literature.
Single Jeopardy! looked gloomy against our first opponents (one team of three). We ended the round about $2000 behind. But Double Jeopardy! was very kind to us; we selected, and correctly answered both Daily Doubles. That put us well ahead. By the time Final Jeopardy came, we had a formidable lead. They bid it all to put them at $9600 with the correct response: "What is Tundra?" Our correct response put us at $9601.
Our team, "α-Dawgs," went on to the finals, this time challenged by two teams that had already won matches. I was nervous. The other teams contained strong players I knew from some of my classes, but I soon found my worries tamed. We developed a healthy lead early in Single Jeopardy! and maintainted it throughout, such that once the final Jeopardy! question came, we would have won if we lost and they all won (because we didn't bid stupidly).
First prize won a free hp photo scanner! Second prize was an hp calculator and third prize was $75 cash.
My favorite category was Country Rhyme Time. This is where a country name makes a rhyme with something else, like "Canada tranada" if tranada were a thing. See if you can get these:
1- Dried strips of beef in Ankara
2- A Baghdad paper bag
3- Barcelona or Toledo gray matter
4- A citrus fruit from Sanaa
5- A southwest African shinbone
I answered all but the first two, because I wasn't fast enough.
And, incidentally, we did lose Final Jeopardy! See if you can do better than me:
Category: Children's Literature
"This title character was inspired by a girl who'd had her appendix out in a French hospital run by nuns."
Do bee doo doo do doo bee doo. . . .do bee do bee doo! na na na na na. Do bee do do do doo bee do. NA! na na na na. . .na. . .na. . .boom boom!
P.S. Our team has an exhibition competition tomorrow against a team of three faculty members: Dr. Kripps, Dr. Moon, and some other guy. If you are in the area and would like to view it, it will be at 2:30pm in the TSC's Sunburst Lounge. I will also be defending my two-year-running title of Calculator Quick-draw Champion at high noon.