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Making Each Show Unique – Jackpot

Making Each Show Unique – Jackpot

“How to handle a jackpot? Varying the Jackpot? Multiple winners?…..Tips, hints and ideas on how to ensure you keep the quiz varied with the all important jackpot round”


Welcome back to the blog! I hope all is well and the last month or so has proved to be both a profitable and enjoyable one for you as a trivia host. Thank you for the comments, the tips, the feedback and ideas. Each one is read and acted upon and after all this blog is designed to make you a more effective and better trivia host so keep them coming!


Today, we are going to start a new series of blogs on various themes. In upcoming days we will look at the importance of intervals, using a hostess to help you along the way and various other topics to turn you into the best possible quiz host you can be.


Todays subject covers something I have been asked time and time again……the jackpot round? How do you do it? What format is best? Should I keep going for the Big Total? I hope to answer all these questions and more in today post so get the notepad at the ready…..

Making Each Show Unique – Jackpot – Going for the big total?

Jackpots have a purpose in quizzes and trivia nights and its all about attracting players. I know first hand that a jackpot in excess of £100 is going to result in more players competing than having a smaller jackpot. Its all about who pays in, what you charge and how many people you have competing at any one time. If you have 100+ players entering each week and paying $1 to do so then it might benefit to pay out every week but if you have smaller amounts and only the odd little bit of money comes in then you may want it to roll over.


In one quiz I do I get about £60-£80 in the jackpot per week so always have a closest the pink style of question. One quiz only generates £12-£15 in revenue so what I end to do is try and set tougher questions so it rolls over.


What I would say as an aside though, is that for your first few weeks try and get the bar or trivia host to put some money into the kitty and get the first few jackpots into triple figures.

Making Each Show Unique – Jackpot – Format and Style

There are several ways to run a jackpot and here are a selection of some of the ideas I use in various quizzes and my thoughts on the formats etc –


  1. Closest the pin – This is a simplest form of jackpot. Everybody pays a $1 to enter and you give them a random question that relates to a date, number, amount, length, time etc….basically a number! Then the person closest wins. It means a winner every time and someone who perhaps didn’t do great in the quiz gets a chance to win as it all comes down to luck J


    1. Guessable Question – What is the worlds 5th largest city? What is the largest train station in Europe? Questions people won’t know but will be able to have a good guess at and it gets them thinking. What you may need to do in this round is only pay a prize for a unique correct answers. So if two people get it correct, then what you do is roll it over to the next week making the question progressively harder until only one person gets it.
    2. 5 Question Shoot Out – Another good idea I have used in the past is 5 questions. 2 easy, 1 medium, 1 hard and one Super hard. Any team to get all 5 correct wins the full jackpot. This is better for “serious quizzes” but perhaps the better options are 1 and 2 as they cater for the weaker players.
  • Get on the Mic – In this version of the jackpot you enter via a raffle and if your number is called out you go to the front and answer a question in front of the audience with the quizmaster on the mic. Usually this works best if you give them 5 options and say “pick an envelope” and then ask whatever question is linked to that envelope. (See below for how this works in other ways)


Making Each Show Unique – Jackpot – Multiple Winners


Some of the best quizzes I have been to and indeed some of the finest quizzes I have ran involve getting everyone involved in the win. One way to do this is to have multiple winners or multiple chances at winning.


For example, take the point 4 that I have raised above. What you can in this case is have the first person who comes up playing for the full jackpot amount…..Say its £100. If they fail then a second person gets a chance at 50% of the jackpot and then a third who gets the chance a 25% etc etc. This gets more people involved and means you can have a winner without giving too much of the funds of the jackpot away meaning you have the roll over for the week after.


You can also have mini jackpots after every round to win beer tokens etc but that topic is for another day.


So there we have it, I hope you have gained at least a little something from this blog and I sure wish when I was starting out people gave me similar suggestions as it took me a lot of trial and error to get this right. If you have suggestions of your own or want to share information about what you do to make an appealing jackpot then feel free to add some comments to the box. Otherwise, stay tuned for more blog posts throughout the weekend and until then, happy trivia hosting……


Remember to keep the request, comments and feedback coming.

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