Conceived and shaped from scratch by local artist Malia Denali and her friend Colleen McGinn, a couple of excitable and improvisational gals who met while working at the Pub, MegaMind combines a pot made up of $5 entry fees from each team of up to five players, a charity component, lively discourse among all involved and, of course, the consumption of brew-pub fare.
The notion of putting together a local pub quiz first came up when Denali mentioned that she had hosted one in Washington State and McGinn countered that she used to participate in one in Washington, D.C. Remembering how much fun they were, they put together a concept and pitched it to Wasatch Brew Pub owner Greg Schirf, who, being the well-known fun hog he is, immediately jumped on board.
The nightly policy edicts are every bit as cool as the brainchild itself, beginning with Rule No. 1: The Pub Quiz Masters (Denali and McGinn) are always right! You gotta love that! Rule No. 2: There will be no shouting out of the answers unless otherwise prompted to do so. Rule No. 3: There will be no use of electronics. Point deductions may occur if the masters deem Rules No. 2 or No. 3 have in any way been messed with.
It's not that the process is overly strict, however. Prizes of all sorts, including Brew Pub gift certificates and treasures from the "swag giveaway table," seem to flow out to participants on a fairly regular basis.
Structured around a six-week run, each team with at least one representative showing up gets one-half point for that week with the winner of the night receiving one whole point. On week six all the points are tabulated for the various teams and final scores determined. This is where it gets fun and the charity component comes into play.
The winning team for the entire six weeks gets to share the pot, which has been accumulating each week from the $5 team entry fees, with a charity of its choosing. The charity gets $2 out of each $5 brought in and the tournament champion gets the remaining $3. Second and third place are awarded a gift card and a swag bag, respectively.
All MegaMind contestants, of course, participate in the Pub Quiz discounted-beverage policy. The crux of which, when combined with the team spirit ethic inherent in such proceedings, makes for evenings of joyous repartee. Not that the tone of these Monday evenings are not family friendly. Grandparents have shown up with grandchildren, with a great time being had by all.
Denali and McGinn select all themes and questions. Everything is fair game but they try to stay topical. "Presidents" was one theme; "Park City" was another. One night they had "great" as a theme with "Gatsby" being one of the answers. When football seasons get underway, football, as a topic, will definitely enter the fray.
Initially, the MegaMind Monday Pub Quiz was promoted through social networking sites such as Facebook. But lately, word-of-mouth has been spreading the word to the extent that, for the final night of the past six-week cycle, 17 teams were in play. As McGinn put it, "Averaging twelve teams a night for six weeks is pretty incredible." Individuals are always welcome to just drop in and join the fun, however.
A new six-week round of teams and themes and questions and prizes got underway this past Monday upstairs in the Cantina of the Wasatch Brew Pub on Park City's upper Main Street. They'll continue each Monday for five additional weeks when, once again, Denali and McGinn, the Pub Quiz Masters, will total up each team's points and, after identifying the charity selected by the winning team, divvy up the loot. What a cool concept!
Following the first round, $116 went to No More Homeless Pets. Round 2 sent out $106 to Friends of Animals, and the huge turnout for Round 3 raised $166 for Good Days and Special Times, a group dedicated to aiding cancer victims.
Although the charity component has demonstrated "that people are coming out for personal reasons which go beyond the fun aspect," as Denali put it, she's also enjoys seeing the party atmosphere. "Ultimately," she adds with a wink in her voice, "I want people to drink and have fun."