Yikes! Women regain lead in Trivial Pursuit battle of the sexes

Not that it matters, but … of course it matters

Trivial Pursuit contest logo
Hello, gentlemen, I thought we had this one under control. ... So did Custer.

Back on Oct. 27, a post here -- "Hey, guys, they're kicking our butts at Trivial Pursuit" -- reported alarming news: An online Trivial Pursuit battle of the sexes was being dominated by the wrong team, as women held a commanding 58% to 42% advantage that appeared to be getting more humiliating by the moment.

However, that post quickly began to circulate among social bookmarking sites ... and a male-dominated coalition of the willing/idle answered its gender's call:

Diggers did their part.

Redditors rallied their troops.

And Farkers stepped to the fore.

Within 10 hours that 16-point margin had dwindled to less than one. Another hour and men forged into a 2-point lead. (Over that period, contest participants logged 173,000 correct answers, which represented 22% of all the points that had been scored in the first three weeks.)

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By the next morning, the men were ahead 54% to 46% ... and I declared my work there done. (Bobby Riggs was smiling in his grave, I'm telling you.)

But now? Egads, men.

Too close to call doesn't begin to describe where this score stands this afternoon. As I type, there have been 5,383,242 correct answers registered (kid you not); 2,692,851 by women and 2,690,391 by men, or a margin of a mere 2,460 in favor of the females. If my math is correct, that represents 0.00046%, or in other words, a handful of hanging chads. (Update: Wednesday morning, lead for women trending upward; now at 4,000.)

Having kept half an eye on this joust over the past five weeks, I can tell you that the momentum has fluctuated, but it was only a few days ago that the good guys held an advantage of more than 10,000 that looked to be widening. At that point I felt there was no need to provide an update here on the blog because, well, because we were winning and gloating is so unattractive.

Losing changes things.

Of course, it's Hasbro not PriceWaterhouse keeping score, so if anyone wants to suspect shenanigans -- what could be better for Hasbro's marketing than a back-and-forth nail-biter? -- they'll get no lecture from me. On the other hand, I have not a scintilla of actual cause to suspect that the contest -- Hasbro preciously calls it "an experiment" -- is anything but on the up and up.

By the way, there's not much to know about the contest rules: Participants self-identify their team affiliation, so it's possible that chivalrous/gender-confused men are working in behalf of the women, just as it's possible there are female Benedict Arnolds afoot. However, since only correct answers count -- there's no penalty assessed for a wrong answer -- it's not possible that anyone is sabotaging their opposite sex by intentionally tanking questions.

The "experiment" ends Dec. 31.

(One tangential anecdote: So I'm doing my part for the team by answering a few questions on my lunch hour -- yeah, on my lunch hour -- and I get this question in the Sports/golf category:

"Who is the only golfer to have his life story made the subject of a movie: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan or Tiger Woods?"

I guessed Tiger, which while wrong, shouldn't be for long.)

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