Students compete for grand prize at Buck Friday’s game show night

A sizable group of Calvin students gathered in front of the chapel at 9 p.m. on Friday to compete for a $400 grand prize in the ThinkFast game show, a Buck Friday’s event. Some teams huddled in tense circles, discussing strategy, others joked around and some were still scrambling to join teams.

The grand prize was a motivator for some, but many students, like freshman Julia Scott, were only there for the experience.

“I was curious and thought it would be fun,” Scott said.  “The $400 would just be an added bonus.”

49 energetic teams fell dead silent as the games began. The trivia questions drew from pop culture, sports, history and a tiny bit of math, requiring the knowledge of all team members.  Team leaders punched in answers on hand-held remotes as fast as they could because the point value for getting the answer decreased every few seconds.

Noise quickly escalated when teams realized that shouting the wrong answers could confuse their competitors.  Students yelled that Galileo discovered the cell and that the 2012 Olympics were held in Moscow.

Wildcard rounds showcased the talents of volunteer students, who earned their teams points if they got votes.  They put plenty of creativity into their songs, dances and jokes.  One student claimed that at 6 feet 11 inches tall, his talent was being the tallest person on campus: no small feat at Calvin College.  The ThinkFast host himself said he was impressed by the “soul” that students put into their performances.

The show ended with a final round between the four top-scoring teams.  Questions included special sound clips from movies and Calvin-specific trivia.  Scott’s team of five, the Lions, won this final round, thanks to the inhuman reflexes and math ability of Jonathan Crow.  Crow declared that his rapid-fire Bible quizzing had finally paid off.

The Lions divided their $400 prize with attitudes of giddy disbelief.  When asked what she felt of the game show now, Scott shrugged and grinned.  “I had a fun time, and like I said, winning was an extra bonus!”

Other students agreed that ThinkFast had been fun and that they’d felt included, even if they hadn’t won anything.

“I had a great time,” said sophomore Daniel Woodiwiss.  “I made good friends with the other three people on my team.  I’ll definitely do this again next year!”