BY MAT CLOUSER
BRANDON — Estabrook Park witnessed a sharp-witted showdown Saturday afternoon as a host of the most astute Vermonters gathered in the shade of the big tent (wise folk that they are) to take part in the inaugural Vermont State Trivia Championship.
The trivia competition, which has been a part of Brandon’s carnival since its inception in 2017, recently re-branded itself as the official state championship and stepped up its prize money (to a robust $300 in cash) alongside its assertively ascendant sobriquet.
Brainiacs of all ages came together to flex their sagacity and capacity for quip-wittedness under the banner of idiosyncratic team names that ran the gamut from clever to cleaver—names like BrainStorm, Rampians, Smarty Pants, Quizzy Borden, Just Justin (a team of one, of course), and the satisfyingly mysterious, unassailably awesome, Dark Tigers.
As always, the trenchant competition was helmed by the intrepid, polymathic duo of Library Director Molly Kennedy and the omnipresent, many-hatted Bill Moore.
Despite its participants’ flair for above-the-neck acumen, the competition was neck-and-neck throughout. It was anybody’s game heading into the final round—a doozy of a question about one of the stars in the constellation Scorpius, whose name was derived from an ancient Greek word meaning “opponent to Mars.”
In the end, it was team BrainStorm whose wisdom thundered above all else and allowed them to dance in a rain of cold, hard cash, as they were the only team who could pass muster, conjuring the correct answer—Antares.
When asked how they might use their new factoid-laden lucre, BrainStorm team member Jeff Ladd wasted no time with his answer. “Probably spend it at the carnival,” he said.