Fabulous Fibonaccis capture three-peat victory in Quiz Show

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By WOODY FRIDAE/Special to the Express

This year’s Quiz Show, put on by Rebecca Fridae, was another huge success for the Winters Friends of the Library. Meant to raise money while having fun, the event tested knowledge of everything from science and nature, sports, poetry and literature, to history and music — all things that one can research and enjoy through our local library.

Six teams formed this year to test their ability to stand and deliver answers to Fridae’s tough questions. Each team paid $100 to compete for the grand prize of $300.

The team to beat this year was The Fabulous Fibonaccis, (AKA Harem Scare’em) composed of Lisa Baker, Debra DeAngelo, Linda Hirst and Brian Bellamy, and this year, Julia Millon. This team was trying for a third victory in a row.

The Winters Theatre Company with (slight team variations over the years) has won four times in a row from 2011 through 2015, (there was no event held in 2012). The Theatre Company was also there to get back into the winner’s circle again with contestants Germaine Hupe, Jim Hewlett, Mark Dahn, Richard Kleeberg and JoAnn May.

The Fried Eggheads have also been a favorite team over the years, as they have come in second many times but have always come up short in the final round.

“Always a bridesmaid,” one of the team members said.

The Fried Eggheads’s team anchors were Denise Cottrell, Al Vallecillo and Monique Borgerhoff-Mulder, and new this year were Sandy Vickery and Michelle McCullough. Sandy showed off her local knowledge by correctly identifying the auto shop that used to be where Doctor Kakatani lives now on Edwards Street as belonging to Rupert Snodgrass.

Out By Eight was a configuration put together at the last minute by John Donlevy. This year, Donlevy snagged Matt Archibeque, who put together one of the most successful teams in earlier years, the Wintun Warriors, when he ran the Warrior Video Store on Main Street.

Various configurations of Matt’s teams won the second year of competition in 2006, again in 2007 and then again in 2010 (not, however, three in a row). Donlevy and Archibeque recruited Dave May, Elliott Landes (previous champion from Winters Theatre team) and Pinky Dahn.

In previous years, the fun-loving group “Out by Eight” has often been eliminated in the first round, but did often get the “Snickers” award by delivering the “funniest wrong answers.” This year, however, they did not live up to their name. In fact, they lasted until well past 9 p.m., losing a chance to make it to the final round by missing a couple of questions toward the end of Round Two.

A new team was formed by Russell Street residents, Steve Ackley and Natasha Montgomery. They recruited Steve’s sisters and nephew. When they arrived for the weekend visit, Steve and Natasha informed them, “Boy do we have a fun-packed night planned for you!” So, sisters Gloria Deluca and Peggy Ackley, and nephew, Max Mosher all went along with the plan, and ended up on the team “The Russell Street Savants.” Amazingly, they also made it through Round One and nearly made the playoffs.

Another new team, “The Latecomers” — Ken Britten, Tina Lowden, Tim Caro, Bonnie Dixon and David Denebeim — did consistently did well on history, science and nature questions, and “odds and ends,” but a bit weak on the local trivia and pop culture info.

“We came together at the last minute,” said Caro. “We had a group of people of disparate abilities who were very good at one or two categories, but not much more.”

Caro added, “I think the new category, ‘second lines’ was a good addition.”

First time-contestant on the Latecomers, Bonnie Dixon, said, “I think we might have too many PhD’s on the team. I think sometimes you need people with more varied knowledge.”

The “Second Line” category was new this year. The second line of a song was read, and contestants had to come up with the first line. For example, when given “All my life, though some have changed,” the contestants had to come up with the first line from the Beatles, “There are places I remember.” Many contestants found these questions very difficult.

When asked about the competition, Borgerhoff-Mulder said the most difficult questions seemed to be the music questions.

“If the questions are about an era that you’re not familiar with, you don’t have a chance,” she said.

The Fried Eggheads finished the second round with the lead at 104 points. The Fabulous Fibonaccis, with 99 points, just squeaked by the other favorite, the Winters Theatre group, which racked up 94 points. So, the Eggheads and the Fibonaccis progressed into the finals.

In the final lightening round, the two top teams go back to zero. The teams stand in a line and square off with all five teammates, taking turns answering the same question against an opposing team member. The teammate punches in on a button before their competitor gets the first opportunity to answer. If wrong, the other opponent has the opportunity to answer with more time to think.

The Fabulous Fibonaccis pulled ahead early by clicking in first and correctly answering questions like: “In June of 2017, what right was given to Saudi Arabian women?” (driving a car), and “What US State is named after a Greek Island?” (Rhode Island). Once in the lead, they commanded a 2-point lead for rest of the round.

This gave the Fabulous Fibonaccis their third victory in a row. When asked about the win, DeAngelo said, “In many cases, it’s the luck of the draw. Lisa Baker is one of the smartest people I know. She got asked about the Twilight series, and she had never read them. On the question about the Saudi women driving, I just happened to read something about it.”

Baker said, “We now only have to get one more victory to tie the Winters Theatre Company for the record of four in a row!”

The final scores were close, the competition, fierce. In the end, Fabulous Fibonaccis beat out second place Fried Eggheads. In third place was Winters Theatre; fourth, Out by Eight, Fifth was Russell Street Savants and 6th, the Latecomers. Only 37 points separated the top and bottom teams, making it the closest range of scores in many years. It proves there are a number of smart people in Winters, and all contestants can be congratulated.

Audience members were treated to a fun show with contestants joking and making wisecracks and showing camaraderie among the teams. Jeff Tempas said as an audience member he thought it was “a real interesting set of questions, and the new ‘second line’ questions were more challenging than people expected.” Most contestants said, “Oh, I should have known that!” when the answer was given.

Despite the tense competition, there was a real sense of fun and enjoyment. Linn Myer said it was, “a really great event! There seemed to be a particularly warm feeling between the contestants, which was enjoyable to watch.”

Putting on the event was a big team effort of WFoL volunteers. Paul Meyer, Lynne Secrist and Carol Scianna were scorekeepers, and Bruce Bailey was the timekeeper. Linn Myer and Linda Glick ran the kitchen and had a lovely display of free treats for contestants and audience members.

Jeff Tenpas sold beer and wine, which netted funds for the Friends of the Library. Berryessa Gap generously donated a case of wine, and Tenpas and Sally Brown donated a case of beer to the event.

Linda Springer took money at the door. Jack Young, Richard Cowan and Marylou Linville were the seasoned judges, taking on those roles for a fourth year. Woody Fridae was the moderator. And true to form, the Fabulous Fibonaccis returned the $300 prize money to help boost the total profit for the Winters Friends of the Library to about $1,000 for programs and increasing hours at the library.

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