By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 21, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Buzzers in hand, nearly 100 participants battled it out with their minds as they tested their knowledge against each other during a first-time trivia event on the installation.
The Armed Forces Trivia Quest came to Fort Rucker July 17 at the post theater and pitted contestants against each other for prizes and a chance to compete in a nation-wide, season-ending tournament in San Antonio, Texas, in October, according to Aida Stallings, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation community recreation division business manager.
Although there was only one winner -- Staff Sgt. James Crawford, B Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment -- the purpose of the event was to provide quality entertainment for those on the installation -- and mission accomplished, she added.
"We thought the event went really well, especially since it was a new concept and we were one of the test-pilot installations," said the business manager. "We had 98 participants who all seemed to enjoy themselves and we also had people just come in to watch. All of the feedback was positive -- they enjoyed the event, it was entertaining and fun, and the prizes were amazing."
The game show-like experience was created in collaboration with the Department of Defense and Army Entertainment as a means to salute, entertain and celebrate the men, women and families of the armed forces, and people were playing for all sorts of prizes that ranged from gift cards and tablets, to tool boxes and coffee machines.
Throughout the night there were five preliminary elimination rounds where the entire audience participated with wireless keypads that they used to answer multiple-choice questions through each round.
Although the 98 participants were competing against each other throughout the first half of the show, they were all part of one of four teams. At the end of the initial rounds, the highest scoring participants from each team met on stage to duke it out in the final rounds, but only one would come out on top.
Crawford managed to dominate the competition with his superior trivia knowledge, outshining all other contestants and earning the chance to compete on the national-level in San Antonio.
"This was really cool. I didn't think I would even make it up onto the stage," he said. "Coming here, I just thought it was going to be a fun time, but I won!"
Crawford said he attributes his trivia knowledge to watching a lot of game shows and his trivia apps on his phone, which he plays regularly.
"Tonight they asked a question earlier about South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope, and I'd actually just seen it early today on the app that I use, so it helped me out," he said, adding that in order to prepare for the competition in Texas, he'll just "keep doing what I'm doing."
Although thousands of dollars in prizes were given out, for most people it was the experience that they took away that was the real reward.
"I had a really good time tonight," said Maggie Teitgens, military spouse. "I came out tonight without very high expectations, but I was really surprised. The host was great, the crowd was great and it was all just a really fun time. It's something I'd definitely come to again."