Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac

[Image of Trivia Almanac book cover]

Dozens of the best trivia players I know helped fact-check the Almanac with me, but a number of embarrassing errors crept through anyway (all mine, of course). I guess that's inevitable in a book with almost a thousand historical factoids and over nine thousand trivia questions. Here's a running list of the goofs and now-obsolete facts that vigilant readers and I have collectively discovered.

(Spoiler warning: wherever possible, I'll correct the goof without giving away the answer to the question, but in some cases explaining the mistake will require revealing the answer.)


3 WOMAN ON TOP, the third question 3. Kumaratunga was this nation's first female president, but another woman was previously its prime minister, back in the days before a president was its head of state and government. The question should have been more precisely phrased.
4 THAT'S THE SPIRIT, the first question 1. Alec Baldwin also plays a ghost in Woody Allen's Alice.
4 THAT'S THE SPIRIT, the second question 1. Rex Harrison appears as a ghost at the very end of--70-year-old spoilers!--Blithe Spirit.
6 MISPELLINGS, question 4. The album in question was the artist's second, not their first.
14 ALL STARSTRUCK, question 1. Both the question and answer are incorrect; Wayne Gretzky is the leading scorer in NHL All-Star Game history, with 25 points in 18 games.
14 ALL STARSTRUCK, question 2. The word "had" is a little ambiguous here, since those players were all elected to the team, but several were replaced by the commissioner prior to the actual game.
18 TRIO BRAVO, the final question 3. The exact motto in question is just "Duty, honor, . . ." with no "and."
25 COLD SHOULDERS, question 4. In addition to the answer given, Dale Murphy is another more recent eligible example.


4 HOUR TOWNS, the second question 2. Apparently I don't know my postal abbreviations: the TV show in question is set in Capeside, MA, not ME.
4 I'M WITH THE BANNED, question 9. I confused a lousy Nicole Kidman movie with a very good Russell Crowe movie; the answer is The Interpreter, not The Insider.
8 DIFF'RENT STROKES, question 1. The swimming stroke in question is only first in the individual medley. Medley relays must start instead with the backstroke, to avoid later collisions.
9 ONE-HIT WONDERS, question 5. He actually played right field for two innings in his only game, not just one.
17 THE TIES THAT BIND, question 2. The kicker's nicknamed is misspelled (the second i is missing) in the answers.
19 THE PRIZE IS RIGHT. Though many published sources give February 9, 1913, as the date of the first Cracker Jack prize, the Frito-Lay website claims that prizes were in the boxes a year earlier, in 1912.
23 TEN GALLANT HATS. Mario Lemieux's five-goal "ultimate hat trick" actually took place on December 31, 1988, and the description of the fourth goal should read "on a penalty shot."


3 THE SATANIC "VS." The "fire in a crowded theater" decision was Schenck v. United States, not Schechter. Schechter dealt with government regulation of the poultry industry.
16 A TRIBE CALLED QUEST. EverQuest actually came on-line in 1999. An Internet role-playing game would have been very forward-thinking in 1977!
26 IF YOU'RE FEELING SINISTER, question 2. Cars in India, a massively more populous country than Japan, also drive on the left.


2 "BEAT" GENERATION, question 2. Beaterator will be released for the PSP in 2009, not on the PlayStation in 2003.
7 CLUB SCENE, the third question 1. In addition to the answer given, the Rays and—most prominently—the Padres now have home plate on their logos.
9 ORAL FIXATION. La Salle actually discovered the mouth of the Mississippi on April 9, 1682. He was born in 1643.
11 JERSEY CITY. Athletes A and B (Dizzy Dean and Dale Earnhardt) are transposed in the answer section.
13 "CELL"ING OUT, question 4. Gloria Jones was Marc Bolan's longtime partner, not his wife.
18 MASS A-PEEL, question 5. Mary Stuart was the daughter of King James II, not Charles I.
23 GOING LONG, question 7. The world leader in question resigned in February 2008, making Omar Bongo of Gabon the new record-holder.
25 GALLIC SYMBOLS, question 7. This athlete was raised in French Lick, famous as his hometown, but he was born down the road a piece in West Baden Springs, Indiana.


14 MOM'S THE WORD. Five-year-old Lina Medina actually gave birth on this date in 1939. 1933 was her own year of birth.
17 STREET SMARTS, question 4. The county adjacent to Wayne County is spelled "Macomb," not "Maycomb."
23 IRON HORSES, question 3. The record began for this team in 1968, not 1962.
26 BLOC PARTY, question 6. The "common word" part of the answer probably overstates things a bit, since "reland" is not found in most dictionaries.
29 SHORT AND SWEET, question 9. The answer should begin with "Its," not "I."


4 HERE BE DRAGONS, question 3. The answer should more correctly read "co-created," because of the contributions of Dave Arneson.
6 ON-SCREEN SEX(TETS), question 6. This question and its answer would probably make more sense if the fourth film in the list simply read Oklahoma.
7 THE ATHLETES FORMERLY KNOWN AS, the first question 5. The NFL technically considers the team in question to be a new team, though, by some strange coincidence, it had the same owner, players, and personnel as the former Browns.
12 IT'S A GIFT, question 4. The puppy was actually a Christmas present, not a birthday present.
20 I KNOW THERE'S AN ANSWER, question 1. The answer in question takes exactly 8'20" on average, but depending on where the earth is in its orbit, that time will vary by about 18 seconds.


3 WELL, THAT'S JUST GREAT, question 3. The answer section includes a confusing reference to a second film, because the question originally asked, "What recent comedy hits were produced under the working titles East Great Falls High and The Great Vegetable Plot?"
10 THY NAME IS WOMAN, question 5. A typo in the answer section left the final letter off the answer.
10 THY NAME IS WOMAN, question 9. The respective debut novels are listed in the wrong order in the answer section.
13 A LITTLE MORE CONVERSATION, question 4. The answer credits this song to the Dead Kennedys, when in fact it was the Dead Milkmen.
21 FOUR-LETTER WORDS. The last three answers are misnumbered in the answer section.
25 SLAMMIN', question 1. On June 22, 2008, Candace Parker became the second player ever to dunk in a WNBA game.


2 "ERIC CLAPTON" IS A "NARCOLEPTIC," question 14. The "MISTRUSTER" in question sadly passed away in June 2008.
9 A CHILD'S GARDEN OF URSUS, the second question 2. The Corduroy empire was founded by Don Freeman, misspelled "Dan" in the answers.
13 SMASHED HITS, question 9. I confused two depressing movies with similar titles. The question should use Charlize Theron in place of Halle Berry.
16 SPORTS, ILLUSTRATED. In light of how number 3 is drawn, the introduction shouldn't specify "bird's-eye" views.
17 RE-PERCUSSIONS, question 9. The answer is incorrectly (and bizarrely!) given as Buddy Rich, not Keith Moon.
30 THE INN CROWD, question 10. The answer is incorrect: I confused "conclave," which comes from "key," with "concierge," said to derive from a "keeper of the candles."
31 PARTY OF FIVE. F Troop aired its last episode on this date in 1967, not 1965.


1 HELP WANTED, question 4. The ad in question actually aired in Variety that day in 1965, not 1967. August 31 and September 1 need to get together on this.
3 ACCESS OF EVIL, question 6. The answer in question would be correct if I'd asked about Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy . . . but I didn't. The correct answer is Vincent Van Gogh.
6 ISTANBUL, NOT CONSTANTINOPLE, the final question 4. The answer gives the incorrect country for this city, which is actually located in Mozambique, not Lesotho.
20 SIX IS COMPANY, question 9. The answer should allow for psychiatrists or psychologists, since Dr. Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show was the latter, not the former.
28 WISE CRACKS. The introduction shouldn't specify the 1980s, since the sitcom in question 7 was cancelled in 1979.


25 CHEERS, NOT JEERS, the second question 2. The correct answer is "The Brady Bunch," not "The Monkees."
25 CHEERS, NOT JEERS, the final question 3. The correct episode title is "The Great Vegetable Rebellion," which is even funnier.


2 "20" QUESTIONS. The station known today as WWOR was still called "WOR" in 1949 when Twenty Questions debuted.
6 JUST FOR KICKS, question 4. The slogan is incorrectly quoted as "kid-tested, mom-approved," when the actual slogan is "mother-approved."
7 SOFA SO GOOD, question 1. The answer includes an incorrect "The" in the film's title.
7 BLACK AND WHITE AND WED ALL OVER, the second question 4. Mariah Carey is no longer married to the answer named, but instead to TV personality Nick Cannon. Is it still an interracial marriage? Discuss.
11 COUNT AND RECOUNT. It's impossible to precisely match item 10 in the first column to anything in the second column, because there are 31, not 30, words in the Pledge of Allegiance. I think I forgot "indivisible."
18 REVIVAL MEETING, question 2. As on November 7, the answer line adds an incorrect "The" to the title.
26 NUN OF THE ABOVE, the second question 1. There should be a "(two options)" note by Audrey Hepburn's name as well, since she was also a nun in Robin and Marian.
26 BEAT THE CLOCK, question 2. A more complete answer would have noted that the NFL also uses a 25-second play clock for less common kinds of stoppage of play.
29 COT BEHIND ENEMY LINES, question 1. The answer is wrong; Reed helped cure yellow fever, not malaria.


8 LATIN LOVERS, the third question 1. The answer misspells "propter" as "prompter."
11 GET READY TO MATCH THE STARS. The correct name for character B in the second column is "Horatio Caine," not "Horatio Crane."
14 BAD BLOOD, question 5. Since the book was published, this rivalry was ended by Toshiba's abandonment of its HD DVD format.
23 BEARD = WEIRD, question 1. The figure in question passed away prior to publication. He is buried in an Iceland churchyard, not living there.
29 LEGENDS OF THE FOLLICLES. In the answer section, B and K are incorrectly transposed. But boy would I like to see Louise Brooks in a mohawk.
30 BUY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, question 3. Though the skeleton offer made news reports, Jackson himself denied it to Oprah Winfrey, so perhaps the question should have been a little more skeptical.

Thanks to all the loyal Almanac readers who alerted me to these mistakes, either via e-mail or on this website. If you've spotted a mistake that isn't on this list, help out your fellow know-it-alls by posting it here.