Tulsan takes his guessing games across the country.
Live Event Trivia owner Josh Ritchey at Inner Circle Vodka Bar's trivia night. Although he works from Tulsa, Ritchey no longer hosts games himself unless he’s filling in for a regular host because he frequently travels around the country to find new venues for the show.
It’s midway through the first week of the Live Event Trivia season at the Pint, where teams of up to six people are competing to win and get their picture taken with the championship belt.
Competitors are currently guessing lyrics, song titles and musical artists as part of the weekly competition. This is just one of four rounds being played in 31 bars across the country — in Tulsa; Owasso; Oklahoma City; Houston, Texas; Butte, Montana; San Jose, California; and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Live Event Trivia is a Tulsa-based company founded by Josh Ritchey. He started the company while attending law school at the University of Tulsa. He was looking for a fun way to raise money for charity, so he did a one-off competition in 2008 at Joe Momma’s Pizza. It was so popular it quickly became a monthly staple of the restaurant.
Following graduation, Ritchey lasted six months practicing law before quitting his job and focusing full time on trivia. “This 100 percent wouldn’t have happened had I not gone to law school,” says Ritchey as people around him fill out their answer sheets. “I don’t regret my decision to go into this business because it’s so much fun. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”
Ritchey writes all the questions for all his games. His phone notebook is full of facts, which he spends hours researching. Each game is created as a display presentation, which Ritchey uploads to a website. Then, bar owners — who pay a weekly fee to access the web application — can log in and start their game. Ritchey says he used to spend 36 hours creating all the trivia displays, but after five years he can do them all in about 12 hours a week.
Although Ritchey is in the “quiz biz” to make money, he still works with numerous groups to do fundraising events, including the annual Brainiac Ball. He says he has worked on more than 500 fundraisers to date around the country, and 84 in 2016 alone.
Ritchey says he enjoys helping bring people together to spend time in their local bars and compete against each other. “People get really competitive, so it can be a lot of fun to watch,” he says. “I once witnessed the Google marketing team and the location services team for Facebook nearly get into a fight during a game out in the Bay Area. People really get into trivia.”
Live Event Trivia nights in June
Tuesdays, 8 p.m.
The Pint, 1325 E. 15th St.
Inner Circle Vodka Bar, 410 N. Main St.
Wednesdays, 8 p.m.
Louie’s Grill and Bar, 813 E. A St., Jenks
Thursdays, 8 p.m.
The Rooftop, 214 S. Main St., Broken Arrow