Sunday, November 15, 2009

Multiple Choice Mystery - Random Trivia Answers

  • A1) D) Polka. The dance became popular in 1835 in Czechoslovakia, and the dot was named for it about four decades later in Britain.
  • A2) D) Pig Latin. The mock language dates back at least as far as the late 18th century, although its origin is unknown.
  • A3) C) Leg. The drumstick used for playing drums has been known by that name since the 16th century, and the poultry part adopted the name because of their similar shapes two centuries later.
  • A4) D) Quarterback. The concept of bagging plunder was first applied to American football around 1969.
  • A5) C) Cupid. Eros was the equivalent god in Greek mythology.
  • A6) D) Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Richard Dreyfuss's character Roy Neary sculpts a mashed potato model of the monument, which gained its evil name from a mistranslation of the Lakota Mato Tipila, which actually means "bear tower".
  • A7) B) Tombstone. Only three men died in the famous October 26th battle, which, like the Battle of Bunker Hill, was not actually fought at the O.K. Corral, but near it.
  • A8) A) August. Presidents Day (still officially called Washington's Birthday) is in February, Labor Day is in September, and both Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving are in November.
  • A9) A) Phoenix. Arizona's capital city was given the name in 1867 because it was built on the former site of an old Native American settlement.
  • A10) D) Jonas Salk. Albert Sabin developed the first oral polio vaccine shortly after Salk's shot-based vaccine.
  • A11) C) Hinduism. Contemporary Hinduism can actually be monotheistic, but traditionally the religion is not.
  • A12) D) I.M. Pei. The Louvre Pyramid is a 70-foot-high steel and glass pyramid surrounded by three smaller pyramids.

These were the third through fourteenth of the fifteen questions John Carpenter answered in a pair of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire episodes aired ten years ago (November 18 and 19, 1999), when he became the first player on the show to win a million dollars.

The final question, which you almost undoubtedly already know was:

Which of these U.S. Presidents appeared on the television series "Laugh-In"?

A) Lyndon JohnsonB) Richard Nixon
C) Jimmy CarterD) Gerald Ford

Carpenter used his Phone-a-Friend lifeline to call his dad, not for help but to share the impending good news. Moments later, he chose B) Richard Nixon and was immortalized in game show history.

Then, as now, Millionaire really wanted a contestant to strike it rich, and the IRS agent was the beneficiary of a relatively easy set of questions (much easier than my usual Random Quizzes, eh?). But he earned his reward by defeating seven other contestants in the Fastest Finger contest, playing flawlessly, and not seriously using a single lifeline. This month, the show has turned to a tournament format to guarantee that it will finally have another million-dollar winner, to be crowned on November 20. Stay tuned.

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