Clark Magnet takes top honor in trivia game

Students from Clark Magnet High School emerged as the winners of this year's Smart-a-Thon, a trivia tournament and fundraiser put on by the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Thirty-four sponsored teams of four people each representing local businesses, schools and government offices went head to head once again at the Verdugo Hills Hospital Wednesday to see if they knew what was Idaho's nickname or how many different five-card poker hands could be dealt from a 52-card deck.

"It's kind of a bragging rights-type thing to win … it's just fun that way, but everyone kind of takes it seriously," said Steve Pierce, chamber president and business ambassador for the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. "It's a great event. It brings everyone together to have fun."

Nearly $20,000 was raised for this year's Smart-a-Thon, which has already been distributed as grants to various programs at Crescenta Valley High School as well as the Clark Magnet High School robotics team.

"The proceeds from today's event go to the [Mary Pinola] Education Fund," said event organizer and past chamber board member Mary Pinola. "We've been doing this for 26 years."

More than $137,000 has been raised over the years.

During the Smart-a-Thon, team members huddled together across dozens of tables in one of the hospital's conference rooms with their question packets and, like taking a high-school test, filled out a Scantron.

Questions ranged from the easy-to-know such as "What's the color of the middle square on a Scrabble board?" to the more guess-heavy such as "How many times can a woodpecker peck in just a single second?"

Most teams were comprised of adults, but it was Clark's engineering team made up of students that will get bragging rights for 2014.

Mark Ansell, a member of Clark's other team made up of Associated Student Body members, said while life experience may go a long way with random knowledge, students still have at least one upper hand.

"It feels more fresh in our minds since we're learning it now, so we might have an advantage," he said.

That was fine by members of the La Crescenta Woman's Club team, now in its fourth year participating.

Carol Benedetti said it could be a tad embarrassing to find out how much you don't know about history, but it was all for a good cause.

"You know the show 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?,' this one is 'Are You Smarter Than a Third-Grader?" she said.


Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.



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