By AnneMarie Ashburn
Bragging rights are nice, but money is better. And so this week, we scouted about for the top pub trivia prizes offered up by local bars. But it won't be an easy win. In a city full of class valedictorians, Type-A personalities, and future leaders of the Free World, it's no surprise there's fierce competition to be had. And that goes for the bars, too. There's no shortage of establishments that fill up on an otherwise quiet weeknight to test your knowledge of obscure sports facts and celebrity gossip. And while we appreciate a good host, a decent set of questions and a quality crowd, we admit a hefty first-place prize makes it all the more fun.
Most trivia nights around DC give out bar tabs, averaging about $50 for the first place team. The more generous pub quizzes dole out $100 bar tabs for the first place teams, plus smaller tabs for the runners-up. The Wonderland Ballroom, revered by its regulars for their rotating hosts and hipster vibe at their Monday night trivia, gives out $100 for the winners and prizes designed to get a laugh to the team whose name gets the best applause from the group (a framed picture of Hitler has been awarded in the past). The Reef in Adams Morgan matches that amount on their Wednesday evening pub quiz, and second place scores $50 in drinks.
If you're not into delayed gratification, go to Acre 121 on Tuesdays, where you get a spin at the prize wheel for free/cheap drinks after every round. If you're in it for the long haul, though, your score is even bigger. At the end of each month, regular teams tally up their score and a top spot puts you in a tournament run by District Trivia. If you win that, your team gets a cool grand in cold hard cash and free beer for a year.
And if more creative prizes are your bag, several locations offer that, too. At Sixth & I, you can score movie passes to Regal Cinema movies, tickets to concerts/events going on at Sixth & I, and tickets to Capitals games. [Now featuring Sober Yeltsin!] Even wackier, Stoney's in Logan Circle gives out As Seen On TV items on Wednesdays to the second and third place teams because a home is not a home without a ShakeWeight. As an added bonus, Stoney's also offers a chance to win free beers for your team after every round. There's also Looking Glass Lounge in Petworth on Thursday nights, which offers a prize for the most creative team name. You get $15 to spend at the bar and endless praise for your sense of humor.
And if you really don't care about playing trivia and you just want the prizes, get over to Tonic on the first Friday of the month. If you stop by their Mt. Pleasant location for happy hour (before 7 p.m.) you'll get a raffle ticket to win prizes like tequila shots, a bottle of wine, and modeling clay (really).