The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 12, 2009

Locals taking on Valentine radio trivia

KMSU involved in trivia broadcast event

By Regan Carstensen

VERNON CENTER — Romantic dates and candlelit dinners may be the most typical ways to spend Valentine’s Day, but for Monte Raske and his wife, the day will be spent poring through books, searching the Web and making plenty of phone calls.

The Vernon Center couple, joined by about 50 teammates, is entered in “XXX Trivia: 30 years of Trivia Lovin’,” a radio trivia contest put on by St. Cloud State University student radio station KVSC. It is also being rebroadcast on Minnesota State University’s KMSU.

But don’t get the wrong idea about the event’s name; the three Xs represent the contest’s long run, not its content.

Raske’s team, previously known as the Digital Dungeon Dwellers, is honoring the triple X theme and will compete as DDD: The Team with the Triple Ds. Now participating for his 19th straight year, Raske has yet to tire of the “addicting” event.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” he said. “It’s one of those things that I don’t ever do it justice when I try to explain what it’s like.”

The event starts at 5 p.m. Friday and ends 7 p.m. Sunday, keeping trivia lovers engaged in a constant hunt for answers throughout the weekend. Each hour, nine questions of various point values will be broadcast, and teams are given a certain amount of time to call in their answers.

The Internet has caused the style of the game to change over the years, and new Google-proof questions require contestants to use all sorts of resources in their search.

The emergence of KMSU as a partner is new this year, and the contest will be broadcast on both radio stations simultaneously. The contest spread to KMSU when station manager Jim Gullickson wanted in on the fun. Since KVSC and KMSU are both part of Independent Public Radio, Gullickson had been around the KVSC managers before and heard them brag about their contest.

“So we got to talking a couple years ago about maybe bringing it to a wider audience through some networking possibilities,” Gullickson said.

While the idea was discussed, lack of funding kept it from developing. It wasn’t until last year that KMSU was able to purchase the computers it would need to carry 50 hours of audio from another source. Now that the opportunity has come, Gullickson thinks the local broadcast of the contest will quickly spark interest in local participation.

“At first it’s sort of going to be a novelty, but I think we’ll see that people will think, ‘I want to do that next year,’” he said.

Teams can still register until 4:30 p.m. Friday, but Gullickson said he fully intends to broadcast the contest on KMSU in coming years, so locals who miss out this year will get their chance in the future.