MEDIA: Franklin Street Burnouts HQ — Wiza’s trivia stronghold
By Taylor J. Hale
*video walkthrough below
STEVENS POINT — Mayor Mike Wiza invited the Gazette into his home and Trivia Five-0 headquarters on Monday afternoon to get an inside look at his eclectic collection of trivia materials. With a myriad of trivia questions, comes a large amount of needed informational supplies.
“The entire upstairs of the house, plus a lot of the regular rooms in the house, are pretty much dedicated to trivia,” Wiza explained in an exclusive interview with the Gazette. “But upstairs is trivia year-round, and it’s been that way for the better part of 40 years.”
Lining the corridors and strategically assembled rooms of the mayor’s home are encyclopedias, newspaper clippings, magazines, vinyl records and more. Thousands of films and documents fill a small room down the hall of the second-floor trivia space, all waiting for use during the contest.
“We still get something out of here, every single year,” Wiza explained about his room of trivia gear.
The Franklin Street Burnouts, Wiza’s trivia group, started in the early 1970s. Wiza still recalls his first experience with trivia when he was 10.
“I came here, and my aunt and uncle were playing with a bunch of their friends,” Wiza explained. “They were all running around looking for an answer.” The question was “what was the opening monologue to the movie ‘Magic,’” the 1978 horror film. Wiza knew the answer and secured a desperately needed 50 points for his family’s team. “They did everything but carry me on their shoulders, and since then, I’ve been hooked on trivia,” Wiza said.
Wiza and his team also had the opportunity to play with Ken Jennings, the author and legendary game show champion who holds the longest winning streak on the hit show “Jeopardy!,” in 2005.
“He signed the ceiling tile — he was an honorary Burnout,” he said.
With a family history of enduring passion for trivia, Wiza is gearing up in attempts to earn another top-10 trophy this year. To find out the mayor’s trivia tips watch the Gazette’s exclusive walkthrough video of Wiza’s headquarters.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.