Global Language and World Culture
Trivial Pursuit Game

Trivial Pursuit Game

Trivial pursuit for students
Trivial pursuit for students

Trivial pursuit game, its history and development with some subjects categories to clearly give an example of the playing activities, plus some very good links to great websites to play online and resources to printable materials for schools.

Trivial Pursuit game is a good playful activity to play in groups. Because questions are in different categories, the game can highlight different teammates’ areas of expertise and give each player a chance to shine. Plus, since teams need one question in each category to win, the game encourages teams to work together and pool their knowledge.

Trivial Pursuit is a board game in which winning is determined by a player’s ability to answer trivia and popular culture questions. Players move their pieces around a board, the squares they land on determining the subject of a question they are asked from a card (from six categories including “history” and “science and nature”).

Each correct answer allows the player’s turn to continue; a correct answer on one of the six “category headquarters” spaces earns a plastic wedge which is slotted into the answerer’s playing piece. The object of the game is to collect all six wedges from each “category headquarters” space, and then return to the center “hub” space to answer a question in a category selected by the other players.

Since the game’s first release in 1981, numerous editions of Trivial Pursuit have been produced, usually specializing in various fields. The original version is known as the Genus edition (or Genus I). Several different general knowledge editions (such as Genus II) have followed. Other editions include Junior Edition (1985), All-Star Sports, Baby Boomers, 1980s, All About the 80s, 1990s, Harry Potter, and others. In total, over 100 different editions in different languages have been printed. In the United Kingdom, Trivial Pursuit players complained that the 2006 version of the game was dumbed down in comparison to previous editions, with easier questions and more focus on celebrities and show business.

Trivial Pursuit gamers
Trivial Pursuit gamers

The game was created on December 15, 1979, in Montreal, Quebec, by Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal’s The Gazette, and Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press. After finding pieces of their Scrabble game missing, they decided to create their own game. With the help of John Haney and Ed Werner, they completed development of the game, which was released in 1981. During the development of the game, some of the early work and question writing was completed by Chris and John Haney in Weymouth Library, Dorset where they were staying with family.

The rights to the game were initially licensed to Selchow and Righter in 1982, then to Parker Brothers (later part of Hasbro) in 1988, after initially being turned down by the Virgin Group; in 2008 Hasbro bought the full rights, for US$80 million. As of 2014, more than 100 million games had been sold in 26 countries and 17 languages. Northern Plastics of Elroy, Wisconsin produced 30,000,000 games between 1983 and 1985. In December 1993, Trivial Pursuit was named to the “Games Hall of Fame” by Games magazine. An online version of Trivial Pursuit was launched in September 2003.

The Toy Insider mentioned that it can be “enjoyed by baby boomers, millennials, and everyone in between”, while Board Games Land called it “The timeless classic and the godfather of trivia games”. Games included Trivial Pursuit in its top 100 games of 1986, saying “The game’s winning formula is to offer well-written, entertaining questions in a continuing flow of new categories for players of all ages and interests. “

The object of the game is to move around the board by correctly answering trivia questions. Questions are split into six categories, with each one having its own color to readily identify itself; in the classic version of Trivial Pursuit, the Geography category is blue, Entertainment is pink, History is yellow, Arts & Literature is originally brown, later purple, Science & Nature is green, and Sports & Leisure is orange.

The game includes a board, playing pieces, question cards, a box, small plastic wedges to fit into the playing pieces, and a die. Playing pieces used in Trivial Pursuit are round and divided into six sections like wedges of pie. A small plastic wedge, sometimes called a cheese (like cheese triangles), can be placed into each of these sections to mark each player’s progress.

During the game, players move their playing pieces around a board which is shaped like a wheel with six spokes, rolling a single die to determine how far to move. The board is divided into spaces of different colors, and the center space is a hexagonal “hub.” At the end of each spoke is a “category headquarters” space. After landing on a space, the player is asked a question in the category corresponding to its color.

Vintage Trivial Pursuit
Vintage Trivial Pursuit

A correct answer allows the player to continue their turn, while a miss passes control to the next player in sequence. Questions must be answered without any outside assistance. Landing on a category headquarters space and answering correctly awards a wedge in that color, if the player does not yet have one; wedges are fitted into the playing pieces as they are earned. The player may move in any available direction and change directions at any category headquarters space or the hub, but may not backtrack.

“Roll Again” spaces allow the player an extra die roll without having to answer a question, while landing on the hub allows a player to answer a question in the category of their choice as long as they do not yet have all six wedges. Any number of playing pieces may occupy a given space at the same time. A variant rule ends a player’s turn on collecting a wedge, preventing a single knowledgeable player from running the board.

After collecting all six wedges and filling their playing piece, the player must land on the hub by exact count and correctly answer a question in a category chosen by the opponents in order to win the game. If the player misses the question, they must leave the hub on their next turn and return to it for another chance to win.

To play Trivial Pursuit at work or at school, first, split the group into teams. You can play with the actual board game, or read questions out loud and keep score on a whiteboard or on paper. You can also play online via Zoom. Each team takes a turn answering questions. The first team to answer at least one question in all six categories correctly wins the game.

The subjects reported on this post as an example are the classic categories, that is: general culture, arts and literature, entertainment, geography, history, science and nature, and finally sports and leisure. However you might add your own topics. Just be sure that topics are fairly general and appeal to a wide audience so that the maximum number of participants can enjoy the fun.

Kate Moss playing trivial pursuit
Kate Moss playing trivial pursuit

General knowledge and culture questions & answers

Q: Which kind of nut can be used to produce dynamite? A: Peanut
Q: To “copy” and “paste” a document on most computers, we can use the shortcut “Ctrl + C” and “Ctrl +…”. A: V
Q: Which kind of product is produced by Rolex? A. Rolex
Q: A crab is the symbol of which horoscope sign? A. Cancer
Q: What is sushi often wrapped in? A: Seaweed
Q: What do we call a group of unicorns? A: A blessing
Q: Gregor Mendel is considered to be the father of the modern study of what? A: Genetics
Q: What is the meaning of the letter “R” on movie rating? A: Restricted
Q: The car crash that killed Princess Diana occurred in which city? A: Paris
Q: The Spanish painter Salvador Dali is associated with which art movement? A: Surrealism
Q: How many characters were originally limited on Twitter? A: 140
Q: The word “vomit” was invented by which writer? William Shakespeare
Q: The first colour photo in the world was taken in which year? A: 1861
Q: Sergey Brin and Larry Page originally used which nickname for their search engine, which is currently known as Google? A: BackRub
Q: What is the only country to start with the letter O? A: Oman
Q: Madiba is the nickname of which former world leader? A: Nelson Mandela
Q: Which component of the computer is technically known as the brain? A: CPU
Q: In the 1830s, ketchup was sold for which purpose? A: Medicine
Q: Which edible food never gets expired? A: Honey
Q: What do we call the bottom number of a fraction? A: Denominator
Q: Which river runs through London? A: Thames
Q: When is Boxing Day in the United Kingdom? A: One day after Christmas
Q: How is it called Boxing Day in Italy? A: Santo Stefano
Q: What is the tallest breed of dog? A: Great Dane
Q: What is the most common colour eyes in humans? A: Brown
Q: Which of the following email service is provided by Microsoft? A: Hotmail
Q: Brazil is the largest producer and exporter of which product? A: Coffee
Q: Who starts first in a chess game? A: White
Q: How many weeks are there in one year? A: 52 weeks
Q: Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome are various kinds of what? A: Web browsers
Q: Which automotive company owns famous brands, such as Ducati, Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, and Bugatti? A: Volkswagen
Q: True or false: Competitive tickling exists. A: True

Trivial pursuit original game
Trivial pursuit original game

Arts & Literature questions & answers

Q: Which classic novel opens with the line “Call Me Ishmael”? A: Moby Dick
Q: Which famous English author wrote “The Tempest”? A. William Shakespeare
Q: Who wrote the satirical essay “A Modest Proposal? A: Jonathan Swift
Q: What was the original title of the classic novel Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen? A: First Impressions
Q: The Last Supper was painted by which artist? A: Leonardo DiVinci
Q: Samuel Langhorne Clemens is the birth name of which famous American author? A: Mark Twain
Q: Which classic novel opens with the line “Call Me Ishmael”? A: Moby Dick
Q: Which American writer was descended from the real life counterpart of a character portrayed in The Crucible? A: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Q: This famous painter originally dreamed of becoming a doctor before a bus crash left her with severe injuries. A: Freida Kahlo
Q: Which famous artist made headlines by shredding a piece of his artwork that was up for auction the moment it was sold? A: Banksy
Q: True or false: Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize in Literature? A: True
Q: Which fairytale is found in almost every culture and language? A: Cinderella
Q: Which Latinx author is known as “the father of magical realism?” A: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Q: Which poet wrote the poem “Lady Lazarus?” A: Sylvia Plath
Q: Which famous artist designed the logo for Chupa Chups lollipops? A: Salvador Dali
Q: Which writer’s autobiography was titled “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”? A: Maya Angelou
Q: What is the literary term for a word that describes a sound? A: Onomatopoeia
Q: True or False: Dorthea Lange was the photographer that shot the famous Depression-era photo “Migrant Mother.” A: True
Q: Frank Llyod Wright designed a house that included a waterfall. What is the name of this building? A: Fallingwater
Q: This style of art and architecture is largely inspired by the natural curve of plants and flowers, and can often be found on the labels of Absinthe bottles. A: Art Nouveau
Q: What painter is most famous for his series of water lilies? A: Claude Monet
Q: What is the name of the protagonist detective in Agatha Christie’s most famous book series? A: Hercule Poirot

Entertainment questions & answers

Q: Which rock band holds the record for the best-selling album in UK music history? A: Queen
Q: Which parody award show gives out awards to the year’s worst movies and movie actors? A: The Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the Razzies or the Razzie Awards
Q: Which musical was the longest running show on Broadway? A: The Phantom of the Opera
Q: Which childhood star went on to become United States ambassador to Ghana and to Czechoslovakia? A: Shirley Temple
Q: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is the real name of which famous singer? A: Lady Gaga
Q: Who was the first African American to win an Academy Award? A: Hattie McDaniel
Q: What year did Leonardo DiCaprio (finally) win his first Oscar? A: 2016
Q: Which actor played James Bond in the most movies? A: Roger Moore
Q: What was the first Netflix show to win an Emmy? A: House of Cards
Q: The movie Blade Runner is based on which book by Sci-Fi writer Philip K Dick? A: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Q: What was the first Netflix show to win an Emmy? A: House of Cards
Q: What was the first feature length “Talking” movie with sound? A: The Jazz Singer
Q: What does VHS stand for? A: Video Home System
Q: What is the name of the only comic book character that is legally owned by both Marvel and DC? A: Access
Q: Which celebrity has fulfilled the most Make-A-Wish requests? A: John Cena
Q: Pete Best was the original drummer for which famous band? A: The Beatles
Q: Which anime/manga includes main character who turn into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac? A: Fruits Basket/Furuba
Q: Whitney Houston’s hit “I will always love you,” was originally written and performed by which musician? A: Dolly Parton
Q: Which was the first Marvel movie without a Stan Lee cameo? A: Spiderman: Far From Home
Q: True or False: The first movie trailer was shown in 1913 A: True
Q: Disney’s animated movie Frozen is based on what fairytale? A: The Snow Queen
Q: Michael Myers is the villain of which horror movie franchise? A: Halloween
Q: The character of Fraser Crane originated on which famous 80’s sitcom? A: Cheers
Q: What is the name of the main character on Breaking Bad? A: Walter White

Adults playing Trivial Pursuit
Adults playing Trivial Pursuit

Geography questions & answers

Q. There are 4 cities in Britain with underground rail systems, including Glasgow, London, Liverpool, and …? A: Newcastle
Q: Which of the following is a nickname for Hawaii? A: The Sandwich Islands
Q: Which European country is bordered by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Germany? A. Poland
Q: Albania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Turkey are the four nations that border which country? A: Greece
Q: The largest active volcano in the world is located where? A: Hawaii
Q: What is the term for a series of islands connected under water? A: Archipelago
Q: Which of the following cities – A. St. Petersburg, Russia – B. Minsk, Belarus – C. Istanbul, Turkey is located in both Asia and Europe? A: Istanbul, Turkey
Q: Which country’s currency features the “Big 5” animals, aka the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and African buffalo? A: South Africa (the South African Rand)
Q: Which country’s flag is a yellow stripe on the bottom and a light blue stripe on the top? A: Ukraine
Q: Which country is nicknamed the sugar bowl of the world? A: Cuba
Q: The won is the official currency of which countries? A: North Korea and South Korea (Note– they do not use the same won)
Q: The Dead Sea is located between which two countries? A: Jordan and Israel
Q: Tourists can swim in the sea with pigs in which country? A: Bahamas
Q: What is the only country to start with the letter O? A: Oman
Q: Which country has the largest population of Muslims? A: Indonesia
Q: Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world, is located in which country? A: Venezuela
Q: Which of the following countries do not span two continents: Russia, China, Turkey, Azerbaijan. A: China
Q: Dhaka is the capital of which country? A: Bangladesh
Q: Truth or Consequences is a town located in which US state? A: New Mexico
Q: True or false: Easter Island is located in Chile. A: True
Q: True or false: The Sahara is the largest desert in the world. A: False- The Antarctic is actually the largest desert in the world.
Q: Is the Equator a line of latitude or of longitude? A: Latitude
Q: True or False: The Pacific Island of Tonga is one of the first countries to welcome the new year on New Years Eve? A: True
Q: True or False: The world’s largest manmade lake is located in Tanzania? A: False- it is located between Zambia and Zimbabwe
Q: Istanbul used to be called what? A: Constantinople
Q: How many time zones are there in Russia? A: 11
Q: Which continent is also a country? A: Australia

History questions & answers

Q: Which of the 7 wonders of the ancient world still exists today? A: The Great Pyramid of Giza
Q: Before the White House became the official home of US presidents, the first executive mansion was located in which city? A: Philadelphia
Q: The Battle of the Bulge was fought during which war? A: WW2
Q: What is the year of the first recorded flight? A: 1903
Q: This Civil War Nurse founded the American Red Cross A: Clara Barton
Q: True or False: Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII’s first wife? A: False. Anne was the second wife, Catherine of Aragon was the first.
Q: Which was built first: the Eiffel Tower or the Panama Canal? A: Eiffel Tower
Q: What was the first known civilization in human history? A: Mesopotamia
Q: Who was the ancient Egyptian sun god? A: Ra
Q: Who is the only US president to have served 3 full terms? A: Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR)
Q: In 1537, Henry VIII officially made which day became a statutory holiday in England? A: Valentine Day
Q: True or false: The current Queen of England (Queen Elizabeth II) is the longest reigning British Monarch? A: True
Q: Who was the first female prime minister of India? A: Indira Gandhi
Q: Madiba is the nickname of which former world leader? A: Nelson Mandela
Q: The assassination of which figure is often thought to be the spark that ignited WW1? A: Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Q: Which of the following was not one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: Library of Alexandria, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Great Pyramid of Giza, Temple Artemis? A: Library of Alexandria (The Lighthouse of Alexandria was the ancient world wonder)
Q: What year did Pakistan gain independence and split from India? A: 1947
Q: During the American Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr and other activists led a historic march that ended in Montgomery Alabama and started in which city? A: Selma
Q: The Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid is located in which city? A: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Q: Which country first legalized same-sex marriage in 2001? A: The Netherlands
Q: What archeologist discovered King Tut’s tomb? A: Howard Carter
Q: True or false: Brazil was the first South American country to gain independence. A: False (It was Columbia)
Q: In 1917, an explosion occurred in the harbor of which city when two ships collided? A: Halifax
Q: From the 16th to 18th centuries, India was ruled by which dynasty? A: Moghuls
Q: The network of trade routes that connected China and the Far East with Europe and the Middle East was known as what? A: Silk Road
Q: Who was the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire? A: Charlemagne
Q: True or False: The first year on record that Mount Everest was climbed was 1953? A: True
Q: Before Tokyo became the capital city of Japan, where was the capital located? A: Kyoto
Q: True or false: There were widows of US Civil War soldiers alive into the 2000’s. A: True (The last known Civil War widow to die was in 2020)
Q: Which civilization was older: the Maya or the Aztecs? A: Maya
Q: The first known democracy in the world was in which city in Greece? A: Athens
Q: True or false: Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull helped lead their people to victory in the Battle of Little Bighorn? A: True
Q: True or false: The Black Death started around 1252 A: False– it began in the 1300’s

Trivial Pursuit game online
Trivial Pursuit game online

Science & Nature questions & answers

Q: The Earth is closest to the sun in which month of the year? A: January
Q: HTTP stands for what? A: Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Q: Fe is the abbreviation for which element on the periodic table? A: Iron
Q: True or false: The Giant Panda is currently on the Endangered Species List A: Fale. The Giant Panda was removed from the endangered list in 2016.
Q: E=mc^2 is the formula for which theoretical equation? A: Theory of relativity
Q: Who is the only scientist to have won a Nobel Prize in two different scientific categories? A: Marie Curie
Q: Helianthus is the scientific name for which summer flower? A: Sunflower
Q: What is the typical pH level of pure water? A: Around 7
Q: What is the boiling point of water? A: 100 degrees celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit
Q: Fe is the abbreviation for which element on the periodic table? A: Iron
Q: Ohms are a measurement of what? A: Electrical resistance/electrical current
Q: True or false: Platypus have venom. A: True
Q: Which dinosaur name means “fast thief:” Velociraptor, Triceratops, Pterodactyl. A: Velociraptor
Q: In which species do males give birth to the young? A: Seahorses
Q: The North Star (Polaris) is located within which constellation? A: Ursa Minor or The Little Dipper
Q: The Orca is also known as what? A: Killer whale
Q: Which of the following astronomers was not exiled or accused of heresy in his lifetime: Galileo Galilei, Nicholas Copernicus, Tycho Brahe? A: Copernicus (He was on good terms with the church, and his findings mostly were not protested until after his death)
Q: Which famous mathematician is credited with discovering gravity? A: Isaac Newton
Q: This British mathematician helped to crack the Enigma code during WW2 and made one of history’s earliest computers. A: Alan Turing
Q: True or False: The Stegosaurus and T-rex lived during the same Jurrasic period. A: False
Q: The three main parts of the water cycle are evaporation, condensation, and what? A: Precipitation
Q: In the lunar cycle, does the waxing crescent and gibbous come before or after the full moon? A: Before
Q: An educated guess made at the start of an experiment is called what? A: Hypothesis
Q: When two different species help each other out in nature it is often called either a mutualistic or a ………………….. relationship? A: Symbiotic
Q: Dihydrogen monoxide is a chemical name for what substance? A: Water
Q: A wave of smaller tremors following a larger earthquake is known as what? A: Aftershock
Q: La Niña is a cooling event in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. The opposite phenomenon, aka a heating of these areas, is known as what? A: El Niño
Q: Ornithology is the study of what? A: Birds

Sports & Leisure questions & answers

Q: Which F1 racer wins the most Grand Prix? A: Michael Schumacher
Q: What is the highest possible hand in poker? A: Royal Flush
Q: Which country has hosted the most Olympic games? A: United States
Q: What year did basketball become an Olympic sport? A: 1936
Q: Which team won the first ever Super Bowl? A: Green Bay Packers
Q: The Baseball Hall of Fame is located in which city? A: Cooperstown NY
Q: Which came first: checkers or chess? A: Checkers
Q: Nascar stands for what? A: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing
Q: Which two styles of dance are mentioned in the NATO phonetic alphabet? A: Foxtrot and Tango
Q: Arnold Palmer was what kind of athlete? A: Golfer
Q: Blue Ribbon Sports was the name of which famous athletic wear company? A: Nike
Q: What term is used to describe a score of zero in tennis? A: Love
Q: A marathon is how many miles? A: 26
Q: A triathlon consists of which three sports? A: Running, swimming, cycling
Q: Nathan’s hot dog eating contest takes place in Coney Island on what holiday? A: The 4th of July
Q: True or false: The first year that the New York Times printed a crossword puzzle was 1942? A: True
Q: The Queen’s Gambit is a move in what game? A: Chess
Q: Students just starting to learn karate receive what color belt? A: White
Q: This game is played with a net on a stick. A: Lacrosse
Q: The Rose Bowl takes place in which Californian city? A: Pasadena
Q: A 7-foot orange furry creature named “Gritty,” is a team mascot in which sport? A: Hockey
Q: A “pigskin” is the name of the ball in which game? A: Football
Q: True or false: A standard-sized basketball has over 35,000 dots. A: True
Q: What is the most widely played (and watched) sport in the world? A: Soccer
Q: What famous video game character first appeared in Donkey Kong under the name “Jumpman?” A. Super Mario
Q: A pastime that involves using a map and compass to navigate between places is called what? A: Orienteering
Q: True or false: Competitive tickling exists. A: True
Q: The art of folding paper is known as what? A: Origami
Q: Arctophiles collect which of the following objects: Boats, teddy bears, doilies, coins A: Teddy Bears
Q: The practice of moving between point A and B in complex and difficult ways (for example, running up walls and jumping over gaps between buildings) is known as what? A: Parkour
Q: Vintners and sommeliers work with what beverage? A: Wine

Trivial Pursuit Game (Pdf file)

Trivial Pursuit Questions (Pdf file)

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