ST. LOUIS – A group of Washington University students who spend hours honing their trivia skills make Jeopardy look like a cake walk.
The students who make up the school's quiz bowl team have dominated their way into the national championship tournament after another recent qualifying win at Mizzou.
But how did their team get so good? How does one master the art of trivia? Can it be coached?
"I spend a lot of time on Wikipedia," said Patrick Butenhoff, a member of the A-team headed to Chicago next month.
He also takes notes during matches, reads old competition questions and reads books ... a lot of them.
"For example, I'm a literature player so I read a bunch of short stories or plays or poetry."
Each member of the team has their own expertise on which to focus. But team captain Charles Hang says it's all about being well-rounded.
"I feel like you prepare for quiz bowl by preparing to be a well-rounded individual and learning about the things that really matter to humanity as a species."
And, of course, spending as much time 'training' as another D-I athlete.
"Just like an NCAA athlete may put in, ya know, 20 to 25 hours a week practicing, getting ready for a competition, many quiz bowlers put in that same amount of time," said Hang.
The Wash U quiz bowl squad has two teams competing in the National Intercollegiate Championship Tournament: the D1 'A-Team,' and a D-2 team with inexperienced players.
The tournament is in Chicago on April 14.