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Making Use of Prize Rounds and Prizes

Making Use of Prize Rounds and Prizes

“Tips, information and ideas on how to make the best use of prizes and make sure everyone leaves happy”


Welcome back to the blog and time for the second post of today. I have been wanting to write on this subject for some time so couldn’t resist when I was full writing flow adding another post. Hopefully you have read and enjoyed the blog all this week and I think this is a subject you are very much going to enjoy!


What I am going to look at here is the use of prizes and prize rounds. This is something I am asked very often, more often than you would imagine. The problem is clear…..all trivia contests have stronger teams and it tends to be in most venues only one or two teams will ever win meaning they take away all the prizes. Now, don’t get me wrong here, there should always be a prize, and a decent prize, for the winner of the quiz, that goes without question but I am going to give you several other ideas on prizes to award and what else you can give.  I have written several articles about, and I highly recommend you read getting prizes, incorporating prizes, and prize and bonus questions.


Making Use of Prize Rounds and Prizes – Always reward the Top 3

Let me first make something clear… many ways I am old school and people turning up your trivia event are there for the contest and there to do as well as they can. So my view is in any quiz where you have more than 7 teams, always reward the top 3 with prizes. A team coming 3rd has done really well and my theory above is true…..there will always be 1-2 dominant teams so opening up a prize for third means the other teams will have something to aim for.

One other key aspect here is NEVER, EVER and I repeat EVER just give the one winner takes all prize. It will ruin a trivia night long term, or if indeed it doesn’t ruin it, it will mean you are not getting as much enjoyment in your players as possible.


Making Use of Prize Rounds and Prizes – Booby Prize

In a few of the trivia nights I run I give a special prize (usually either a $10 voucher or beer tokens) to the team that finished second last. Before you dismiss this think about it… makes good sense. You cannot “fix” coming second last (for example if the prize was for last you could easily score 0 points and win it). But this gives a good incentive for teams down the bottom and a nice reward even though they haven’t done very well.


Making Use of Prize Rounds and Prizes – Spot Prizes

This is my favorite! I run a quiz and its 4 rounds long with a picture round on top. At the end of every round I run a spot prize question that is impossible to know…..guessing a number, a year, an amount or such like. I try to make them obscure as possible so I avoid things like populations and date of births as people may know them but I go for wacky things people simply cannot know. It means that usually by the end of the night most teams have won something. I tend to give away beer tokens, bottles of beer the brewery provides, meal vouchers or promotional t-shirts. Depends what is there but typically the nearest team wins the beer vouchers.

However, what I do to make this even more fair is I award a separate prize for the round winners, and you cant win both. So the player who scores 15/15 on the History round win 2 beer vouchers for that round but can’t win the spot prize even if they are 100% correct. Never any complaints and makes it so that everyone walks away with a prize. Of the 12 teams who regularly attend….7-10 win prizes every week and that 7-10 varies so there is only the odd week where a team may win nothing.

Keeps them coming back and hardly affects profits…..I am sure the prizes keep the players coming back for the prizes!


Making Use of Prize Rounds and Prizes – Prize Rounds

One other method I quite like doing is having a separate prize round or two. These don’t count for the quiz but there is quiz element to it and you have to make sure its something that gives people a chance. In one quiz I do at half time we have a music quiz….there is always a different theme each week so one week might be 1980’s the next would be 2015 songs and all sorts. A simple music quiz, 20 tracks played, artists and title asked for and then the sheets handed in and marked and the winner gets 3 bottles of wine. Simple, gives people a chance to win and doesn’t affect the quiz. I do similar things at other quizzes with separate anagram rounds or riddles or just something to give the players a chance to win.


I am not going to go into jackpots here as there is a separate post on the different ways you can make a jackpot round successful and use it to attract players.


One thing I will say though, is that if you are giving out a lot of prizes then make sure you are advertising these on the promotional materials. “$250 worth of prizes given away each week”…..”Everyone is a winner”….”Win money, beer and wine….even if you don’t win the quiz” “$1000 won last week!”…..that kind of thing.


Thanks for reading and believe me this is one area in which I have invested a lot of time and effort over the years and its taken a lot to get things right. Let me know how you incorporate prize rounds and what you do to ensure your players all win at some point. As always your comment and feedback is welcome and I look forward to hearing for you!


Until then, happy trivia hosting…

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