Trivia LA co-founder and host wins Best Ever Trivia Show!

If you missed the news, Chris O’Brien was on two episodes of the new Game Show Network show, Best Ever Trivia Show hosted by Sherrie Shepherd and featuring some of the best game show trivia players the world has ever seen on a panel of experts that go head-to-head with contestants!

Chris ended up becoming a 1-day champion, making it to the final round in his second game as well, but came up a little bit short of becoming a two-day winner with a chance to win a third game and become a member of the expert panel.

Here’s a quick note and a recap of from Chris!

Thanks everyone who watched me play Best Ever Trivia Show! I can’t believe I even got through to the head-to-head in my first game, never mind that I found a way to win!

Honestly, I was disappointed in my regular game play on the first game, but really glad that I somehow pulled it out.

I was very lucky I knew the answer to the fastest-finger tie breaker without needing to see the options. If I hadn’t known “Open Sesame” was absolutely the answer to the question about what magic phrase opens the entrance to the cave of treasure in One Thousand and One Nights, I’m not sure I’d have made it to the final. I probably wouldn’t have.

I honestly don’t even know how I knew it—I think it’s just one of those bits of trivia you pick up from playing so much over the years.

I barely remember what happened next (and I haven’t had a chance to watch the episodes yet to refresh my memory), but in the end it all came down to a baseball question, and if you know me, you know I haven’t been a big baseball fan for a long time.

But I did watch the Boston Red Sox win last year’s World Series and the facts I picked up while watching that one epic 18-inning game as well as remembering this souvenir cup from my youth (picture below) helped me to figure out the final answer that won me the game: The longest MLB game ever was 26 innings.

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Before trying out for this show, I had never been on a gameshow before and unlike a lot of people who end up doing well on trivia shows, I wasn’t preparing or studying in any meaningful way.

Someone had posted a link on Facebook and someone else had e-mailed me about it and I decided why not give it a shot?

I got incredibly lucky, because as much as I did scramble and spent the weeks leading up to my shoot date studying, I was severely underprepared. If I ever decide to try out for Jeopardy! or another trivia contest, I’m definitely going to spend plenty of time getting ready first!

Multiple choice trivia is much harder than you might expect. Even with the advice I got from Lynn who had been on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? about a year ago, it still really caught me by surprise.

Besides that, I just didn’t have my best game in game one. On the other hand, in the second game, I was much much happier with how many questions I got right and how I played overall in the regular portion of the game. Once I had a lead, I knew I could play the percentages a little on certain answers and make sure that it would be as hard as possible to catch my score.

For example, I couldn’t know for sure that everyone would miss the question about which ingredient the witches in Macbeth named last, but I had a strong feeling that people would go with the most familiar (“eye of newt”). On one hand, I was pretty sure that was wrong, but on the other hand, I had no idea which of the other two was the right answer, so rather than take a 50/50 risk on a shot in the dark, I went with what I thought everyone else was most likely to answer. If it was wrong and we all chose that answer, I’d move on. If it were right, I’d move on. I basically bet that neither of the other two contestants would guess something else AND get it right (and that the expert would also miss it) and it paid off.

Frustratingly, the expert showdown questions in my second game didn’t break my way at all and my luck ran out at the worst time. It’s okay though—I had a lot of fun and still got to go home with some much appreciated money!

I’ll say this, if nothing else—Trivia like that is hard. It’s fun and I mostly just tried to focus on enjoying the game, but it was seriously a challenge in both games. So many answers were so obvious after the fact! And I talked myself out of a few correct answers, including the one I ended on. My advice: when you’ve already gotten that far, trust yourself.

Finally, to anyone who may be wondering, all the experts are incredibly friendly and enthusiastic. I really felt they were genuinely happy for me and as seriously as they took the game, wanted to see all of us do well! Ken Jennings was very friendly and Muffy was too. Their reaction after my win in the first game was 100% real. They were thrilled for me and that made winning all that much more enjoyable.

Ryan Chafee is incredibly good at trivia and I had to go head-to-head against him TWICE, which I do not wish on anyone. Not because he’s a jerk or anything. He was very kind and genuinely the enthusiastic goofball he appears to be. He’s just going to win way more often than not. But I could tell he really roots for everyone on the show to do well and go home happy. He just deeply loves trivia a lot I think!

That’s all for now. I may have more thoughts once I’ve had a chance to watch the episodes. For now, thank you all so much for your support. I hope I get to see you out at one of Trivia LA’s games soon and we can talk more about weird fun facts and trivia gameplay strategies!

- Chris