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Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions – Wipeout Rounds”

“Making Proper and Full Use of Bonus Questions – Wipeout Rounds”

“Tips, Hint and Ideas on Having an Effective Wipeout Round in Your Quiz”


Welcome back to the blog and I hope you are having a good and productive week of trivia hosting. Today we are going to look at a subject I have touched upon in other posts when talking about how to include bonus rounds or rounds that will shake your quiz up and add that all important element of variety that will have your players coming back for more and more. I have had a lot of people ask me about one of the factors I mentioned and that is the all important Wipeout Round!


Usually in my blog posts I spend time describing the round, looking at the basics.  But here when talking about the ever elusive wipeout round it is going to be a far better idea to just introduce the concept and the basics and then let you look over two examples of quizzes where I have written a wipeout round. This is one of those times when a long paragraph of thoughts will not be as good or effective as simply having some examples to use.


What is a Wipeout Round?

To put it rather simple….A wipeout round is a high stakes round in which players are invited to gamble on points and gamble on knowledge or to play a strategy based game depending on their position in the standings. So, what you do is decide how many questions you want and my advice would be it makes it pointless doing a wipeout round if you are going to do less than 10. This is the best number to go for…any more and it drags the round out and any less and the risk element becomes pointless.


How the round works is as follows….One point for every correct answer in the round, but if you get one question wrong in the round you are “wiped out” and score 0 for the round. If by some chance you manage to score 10/10 then you are awarded 5 bonus points. No punishment for blank answers so if a team only puts 3 answers and all 3 are correct is 3 points, if a team plays 5 answers and 1 is incorrect then they score 0 for the round. I hope this is clear! You can see why this is popular as it means your players have some element of risk involved, doubt their own knowledge and you will probably find 50% of the teams will wipe themselves out.


So, what you do is pick your ten questions. (See examples below) You need to cover a range of subjects.  I would usually suggest going for a good balance of difficulty ranging from maybe 3 easy, 3 medium, 3 hard and 1 super hard. They all need to be guessable though to tempt the risk….so ask for things people can guess…names of countries, years, amounts and that sort of thing. Tease them, tempt them….every question should make them feel tempted to gamble rather than just saying “Well I certainly don’t know that”.


One more tip before the examples… the scores out before the wipeout round so players know where they are. This will put an edge to proceedings as teams at the top will play a bit more conservatively and teams will be forced to try and risk it if they are way behind the others. All adds to the drama!



And as promised here is your trivia examples of 2 wipeout rounds covering all the above points and giving you an idea of the range of questions, topics and difficulty level to include – (Bare in mind this was a British audience so you can see how questions about radio shows etc and counties can easily be substituted for more localized content). Feel free to use these as and when you like.


Until next time, happy trivia hosting.


Wipeout Round – Example 1


A             What color of rose is the symbol of the House of York and has been since adopted as a symbol of Yorkshire as a whole?



B             What five-letter word means to run off secretly with a lover, especially in order to be married?



C             What is the first word in the NATO phonetic alphabet that has none of the letters from the word “love” in it?



D             In Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection and stared at it until his death?



E              With the chemical symbol Sn, what metal is the traditional gift for a tenth wedding anniversary?



F              Which famous British actor married theatre and opera director Sophie Hunter on Valentine’s Day 2015?

Benedict Cumberbatch


G             According to a well-known proverb, what makes the heart grow fonder?



H             King Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, was built in which century?

16th century


I               La Vie En Rose was the signature song of which famous French singer?

Edith Piaf


J              The ten tallest buildings in Germany are all in which city?





Wipeout Round – Example 2

A             Which planet in the solar system has a mass which is 318 times that of the earth?



B             Hippocampus hippocampus is the scientific name for the short-snouted what, a species of small marine fish?

Sea Horse


C             Who is the current question master on Radio 4’s Brain of Britain?

Russell Davies


D             Cristina Kirchner has been the President of which South American country since 2007?



E              In which town in Greater Manchester did Harold Shipman practice as a GP before murdering at least 15 of his patients?



F              What cereal in 2014 changed its name to Honey Monsters?

Sugar Puffs


G             Martin Baker are the leading manufacturer of which aircraft and military safety device?

Ejector seats


H             Which French region produces Camembert cheese, Benedictine and Calvados?



I               Which country is bordered by Cambodia and Laos to the west and China to the north?



J              What is a 40th wedding anniversary called?


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