Trivia Spotlight: Franklin Street Burnouts
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — For Mayor Mike Wiza, it started with the knowledge of an obscure answer to a tagline for the 1978 horror film Magic.
“Abracadabra, I sit on his knee, presto, chango; now he is me. Hocus Pocus, we take her to bed. Magic is fun; we’re dead.”
At the age of 10, Wiza was praised for his random answer to the trivia question; one which earned his aunt and uncle’s team 50 points.
After his parents took him home, Wiza would call in and continue to play the world’s largest trivia contest alone on an orange rotary phone. This has come full circle, as 42 years later, he know gets to proclaim April 12-14 trivia weekend, and continue his decades-old tradition of gathering with his Franklin Street Burnouts crew for what is always a good time among old friends.
“It’s almost religious. Trivia weekend rolls around, and you literally plan your life around that weekend.” said Wiza, who says he negotiated this annual weekend off in interviews for past jobs.
Wiza’s family would eventually buy their aunt and uncle’s house, which hosts their own upstairs area for trivia. The Burnouts still use this area now for the contest. Many individuals from Wiza’s youth still connect on this weekend, and at times is the only time they may see each other for the entire year.
“Now our kids are playing. My daughter plays trivia,” said Wiza. “We’re going through three generations of people playing trivia and having that bond.”
The Burnouts have multiple top ten finishes, as well as finishing in the top five in 1997-99. While the memories are endless, the city’s mayor has taken with him one very important lesson from decades of trivia: There is an answer for everything.
“Carrying it through to my adult life, I can’t accept ‘I don’t know’ as an answer. If you don’t know, find out. Someone, somewhere has the answer we’re looking for, so find it.” said Wiza.
For more information on the world’s largest trivia contest, Trivia 5-0!, check out https://www.90fmtrivia.org/