How to win a pub quiz

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You’ve spent all of your student loan, you’re reaching the end of your overdraft and no-one is responding to your job applications.

It may seem like you’ve run out of options, but you needn’t worry – you can earn yourself some easy cash by becoming a pub quiz champion. Pub quizzes are easy to conquer if you know the tricks of the trade.

You don’t even need to swot up – just follow these tips to guarantee success…

Speak to the regulars

I tried to speak to my local pub quiz champions – they all clearly thought I was trying to cheat as they were extremely suspicious of me.

I didn’t get much out of them, but what one did say was: “Go regularly to pub quizzes and do your research.” Which, as far as advice goes, isn’t great.

No-one wants to do either of those things, so I endeavoured to find out an easier way to win.

Watch TV

You can finally put those hours of endless days watching QI and Countdown to good use.

Lazy quizmasters very often watch these programmes and steal questions from them – there will also almost certainly be something about recent events to make it all seem topical, so be sure to get your BBC news fix beforehand.

Some advice from Alan, a regular quizzer down my local, is: “Watch lots of films, listen to the radio and play Trivial Pursuit.”

Thanks Alan.

Join a team of really, really smart people

Or if your friends are idiots, at least try and gather a group of people with varied hobbies and interests.

Self-help author Camilla Morton says: “Of course your team will be the funniest, and the most visually striking, but as well you need to check you are on a team with at least one person who might be able to answer the questions.”

Remember, the more the merrier. Although you won’t be very merry if you’re dividing the prize money between 20.

Take your mum/nan/someone who is older

I took my mum to a pub quiz once and actually won. Grown-ups know lots and are more likely to let you keep the money.

Of course the most knowledgeable older person there is the quizmaster, so make sure you suck up to them. Jane Allen, from, says: “Know your quizmaster.

“They normally ask questions about things they know – take into consideration their age and what sports and programmes they might like.”

You could even go the extra mile and buy them dinner and flowers – it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Think of a good team name

The funnier the better. Quizmasters often award points for worthy team names.

You can scare your rival teams by using a topical or downright rude team name to let them all know they’ve got witty competition, or that they’re up against some sick-minded people. Either way, it does the trick.

Morton advises taking the lead – she says: “Be the person to think of a team name, have a few ideas in advance. Boost team morale and credibility, think of colours, mascot etc.”

Make sure your phone is fully charged

If you’re going to use your phone (and you are), be stealthy. You’re going to have to go full-on James Bond because those quizmasters are ruthless.

Make sure you always have a drink in hand, so that they won’t be suspicious when you keep heading to the toilet to Google answers you don’t know.

Snapchat is also handy for picture or music rounds – just make sure you’ve got a trusty friend on the other end with as much free time to waste as you.

Camilla Morton says: “Quiz shows allow you to phone a friend, so a text is fine. This isn’t cheating, this is thinking laterally.”

Make your handwriting unintelligible

People with horrific handwriting – this is your time to shine.

Try and capture the essence of the word, rather than the word itself – think of it as abstract art, rather than handwriting. The quizmaster can’t argue that you were wrong if they don’t have a clue what you’ve written.

Jane Allen says: “If you don’t know, make a smart guess.” Apparently quizmasters are pretty predictable and won’t ask horrifically hard questions, so if you give a ballpark answer the chances are you’ll get results.

If all else fails, sabotage

Everyone is a cheat at heart, so play on this. Shout out the wrong answer to throw your competition off the scent.

You can then shoot them a knowing wink when they realise you’ve outsmarted them all.