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Nightmare Jeopardy: An Eventful Night for The Phoenix

Thursday October 20th at 7 o’clock PM

The doors flung open as students gathered in and began to take their seats in the audience. Some grabbed punch, while others devoured candy. Five teams were slowly trickling in, taking their seats at the front of the Community Room. The staff of The Phoenix waited in their designated areas, ready for the game to begin. They were putting on a Halloween Jeopardy event to spread the word about the literary journal. At the front stood our dynamic hosts, brilliantly juxtaposed by the flashy-colored prize awaiting our winners. Off to the side were the camera woman and the spotters. For those wondering, “spotter” was just a nickname given to the staff members who essentially refereed decisions regarding which team “buzzed in” first, to answer the Jeopardy question.

The Prize:

There were five players per team, each vying for the prize, which, in this case, was a basket of Halloween goodies. In the basket hid sweets such as pumpkin sugar cookies and orange Rice Krispy treats, alongside fun items like silly string, vampire teeth, and a few other toys that any college students would surely enjoy.

The prize basket full of tantalizing goodies

The Rules:

Not unlike your average Jeopardy with Alex Trebek, Nightmare Jeopardy contained five categories, with five questions in each: Monsters, Authors, Movie Adaptations, Real-Life Horror and Halloween Rituals. The questions in each category held values from 100 to 500 points. Instead of using a “buzzer”, this version of Jeopardy required the teams to send a runner to a marked line several feet in front of their groups. Whoever reached the line first was awarded the opportunity to attempt an answer at the Jeopardy question.

The “buzzer” as a marked line

The Action:

As the game began, two categories seemed to be the most interesting: Monsters and Halloween Rituals. All of the questions from these categories were chosen first and seemed to give our contests the least amount of trouble.

The funniest question of the night listed under Monsters for 500 points stated “What is the English translation of Dracula’s name?” Similar to how Alex Trebek may have enunciated this question, our emcee put much emphasis on the phrase “English translation”. Yet, Team 5 attempted to answer with “Nosferatu”, which is a Romanian term. The correct answer was “What is ‘Son of the Devil.’” After this question Team 5 was now far behind with a total of -1,000 points.

The game continued with Movie Adaptation for 300 points: “Jack Nicholson's new job leaves his family trapped by more than a blizzard in the film adaptation of this Stephen King novel.” Team 3 answered correctly with “What is ‘The Shining’” as they advanced their lead by 300 points, on top of the 200-point lead that they already had. They sat at 1,300 points, while Team 2 remained in second place with 800 points. After the first round was over, teams 1, 4, and 5 were dismissed to allow for the next major challenge: Final Jeopardy.

Team 2 celebrating their advancement

Final Jeopardy:

Team 2 and Team 3 advanced to Final Nightmare Jeopardy, which had a unique spin from the standard final Jeopardy. Each player on the two remaining teams received a question that matched a player on the other team. They were allowed two minutes for answering. The scores from both rounds were tallied to see which team had the overall highest cumulative score.

Both teams knew a few answers, so it all came down to the 500-point question “What is the phobia called when you fear Halloween?” The participant on Team 3 left their paper blank, while Noah Beane from Team 2 answered correctly with “Samhainophobia,” bringing Team 2 to victory!

Team 2 gladly accepting their victory

The Aftermath:

It was surely an eventful night for The Phoenix, one where fun was had as the word spread about our literary journal. The staff looks forward to holding more events like this in the future. With everyone’s bellies full of punch and candy, the event turned out to be a success. The staff members were pleased with both the turn out and the competitiveness that each team brought to Jeopardy that night.

The Phoenix staff members

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