FARMINGTON — A smattering of knowledge on a variety of subjects comes in handy for participants in Tuesday Trivia Night held weekly at the Dug Out Bar and Grill.

“I’m happy so many people look forward to it every week,” Shaun Riggs, owner, said.

A small restaurant-bar in downtown Farmington, one touted as “the Cheers of Farmington… where everybody knows your name,” is packed on this Tuesday night as it is on most Tuesday nights.

There is pizza and beverages but nearly every table is filled with regular trivia players. Some play in teams of up to six people with answers written down, no shouting the answer out.

“It’s time to begin,” Riggs announces at 7 p.m. “Put all cell phones away.”

The questions feature Maine schools, science, Maine driving, sports and more. There are 10 categories and three rounds for a total of 30 questions.


“If you drive west from Benton and cross the Island Bridge, what’s the next town,” Riggs announces to players.

He wants the questions to be ones they won’t get right away but ones they need to work at for a little bit.

Coming up with questions is a lot of work but better than standing over the grill, he said. On trivia day, Riggs often spends about six hours browsing the internet for question ideas.

“It is not easy writing a good question,” he said. “It can take a half hour to write one question.”

He figures he’s written 30 questions almost weekly for about 10 years. He started the trivia night at the Dug Out four and a half years ago. Before that, he ran it at the Granary Restaurant for five years, he said.

“I saw it becoming a trend and popular in other places,” he said. “I thought it would spice up a Tuesday night that would normally be quiet.”


The game does bring in business but Riggs also likes to play himself.

“I guess I’m the guy who gets excited by getting tough questions right,” he said.

Wanting to take a vacation week off, Riggs asked a patron, Larry Ronco, to fill in for him. Ronco now swaps off every other Tuesday with Riggs but each still plays when the other leads.

Ronco, a math instructor at the University of Maine, used to go to trivia nights at a local bar when he was teaching in Massachusetts.

“It was a great social event, a good time to relax and have fun,” he said.

He likes learning and teaching people new things, he said of his reason for leading Trivia Night.


Ronco pulls questions from a lot of books, the internet and the New York Times. He keeps the same format as Riggs but has a couple signature questions. He asks questions about movies and uses snippets from songs asking players to identify the song and artists, he said.

“It’s fun. A real-life jeopardy game,” Tyler Hadyniak said as he and five other UMF students worked together as a team.

They participate in other trivia games. Keeping up with current events and trends help them answer. Intelligence sometimes helps, one of them joked.

They have come close to winning but usually take the loser’s prize, he said.

Riggs offers a $50 gift certificate to the winner or winning team and promotional products to the third place winner.

“There is no second-place prize cause they are the first losers and need to try harder and win next week,” Riggs jokingly said.


There are players who know they are never going to win but come any way, he said.

Riggs posts clues to the questions on the Dug Out’s Facebook page and tries to work hints in to the questions to help, he said.

The Tuesday Trivia Night goes in to hiatus for the summer. The night is offered every Tuesday from Labor Day to May, he said.

And, just in case you didn’t figure it out, the answer to the Maine driving question listed above was the town of Fairfield.

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