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The Fabulous TCONA4

by Kristy Tye

Trivia is an industry, and every industry has a trade show of their own! In this case, it's TCONA, the Trivia Championships Of North America. For one weekend each year, the casual and the powerhouses combine to have a little fun, swap a few secrets, learn all sorts of useful facts and maybe, just maybe, take home a medal. Social butterfly Kristy Tye (aka agingdragqueen on our forums) forsook the pool and gave trivia her full attention. How did that go? FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK US...

A lot of people have asked me how the Trivia Championships of North America went (aka TCONA, as you may have heard about here), since, as it turned out I was not good at preempting the curiosity by telling my nerdy brethren in time to actually register and head to Vegas. Lesson learned, here’s a whole year’s notice: it went very well and I had a fabulous time, and you should come next year.


our hero


Come on inside and enjoy the recap. Oh, yeah, and you'll find some trivia questions waiting for you too.

You’ve probably been to a pub quiz somewhere around you, and seeing that you’re here on Woot, there’s no doubt in my mind you and your pals have won once or twice before. Or, maybe you’ve fancied yourself a serious trivia nerd, or heck, perhaps you’ve made it on a game show (hello fellow Woot blogger, Ken Jennings!). The great thing about TCONA is that it provides all manner of brain stretching you might want to engage in, from the serious Quiz Bowl, to the less serious pub quizzin’; from game show play alongs, to actual game show tryouts. It’s a veritable nerd playground. Or, for those who are just triv-curious, your preference might be to stick around and watch Brad Rutter, the man who’s managed to win the most money on Jeopardy, take on (and lose to) our beloved Ken Jennings in the Quiz Bowl match of the, well… of the year!



Lemme get serious for a second. The demographics are off, seriously seriously off. And though one could write novels about the cultural institutions that led us to this place, the sad fact is TCONA was a mere 20% female this year, only a slight increase from the previous year. As a woman, there was not a point where I ever felt anything less than welcomed there, and maybe this is something we’ve not grown to expect yet. Trivia has oft been a male-dominated niche, but it’s getting so much better. In fact, with us this year was the incredibly quick Anne Hegerty, a “Chaser” from a very cool game show The Chase, AND she's the second top scoring woman in the World Quizzing Championships, a BFD for the uninitiated. Watch her be awesome here and tell me with a straight face that us ladies can’t hang with you nerdy bros.



But I digress. TCONA4 was a riot. Even Newsweek writer Lucy Westcott, after walking away bruised by some rough Kno’dgeball rounds, seemed to have a pretty good time. So, won’t you come with us next year, too?



Interested in testing out your trivia chops? Try out this written quiz from Paul Paquet of (that's a rad site that also offers daily & weekly quizes for those craving some extra nerdery). This quiz ended up as our introduction to the weekend, get the quiz in pdf form [here] and then check your answers [here]. Didn’t get a lot right? Neither did so so many of us, so don’t let that dissuade you, this is the championships, after all!



(first photo credit goes to Joe Van Ginkel of Home Game Enterprises; all others: yours truly)