Walk into a local bar on a weeknight and there's a good chance you'll see patrons fully invested in a competitive game of trivia.
It's part of a phenomenon sweeping the nation, and Plymouth's Great Lakes Trivia has made a name for itself in communities such as Plymouth, Canton, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Shelby Township.
At these games, teams of players group together at bar tables, equipped with just beers and pen and paper — no computer or cell phone use is permitted during games — and wager points on challenging trivia questions that cover everything from science and geography to movies and sports.
The company also has expanded into the Toledo and Cleveland markets for a total of about 90 locations between Michigan and Ohio, marking significant expansion for a company Mark Adams founded in Plymouth with his family members three years ago with its first show at .
"It's sort of this big, circular, family-run thing," Adams said. "We wanted to get together and start this trivia company and maybe have it at a couple of places and have some fun with some friends and stuff like that, and it's blossomed into what it is today, basically taking over southeastern Michigan."
Adams said further expansion is planned in the near future.
Until recently, the company operated in Michigan as Motor City Trivia, while Toledo had Glass City Trivia and the other Ohio locations had Northeast Ohio Trivia. To simplify things, Adams said, the company rebranded itself as Great Lakes Trivia to cover all the regions.
Adams says his company's brand of bar trivia appeals to die-hards and newcomers alike.
"It's no different than a bowling league or a softball league, but it's something where everyone can play," he said. "It's a great social atmosphere."
Great Lakes Trivia employs a live host at each show, which Adams says adds some excitement to each game instead of having patrons just look at a video screen.
Adams acknowledged a good amount of time is spent surfing the Internet to come up with questions to stump patrons each week.
"We try to mix it up so different age ranges can be covered," he said.
Games offered include Ten-Pin Trivia, a general interest game, and Rock Bingo, a game with traditional Bingo rules, but with music artists and sound clips replacing Bingo balls and numbers.
In Canton, Great Lakes Trivia operates at:
Sundays at 7 and 8 p.m. (debuting March 25)
Tuesdays at 8 and 9 p.m.
41275 Ford Road
In Plymouth, Great Lakes Trivia operates at:
Mondays 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Thursdays 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. (Game 2 is “In Tune with GLT”)
195 W. Liberty Street
Thursdays at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
149 W. Liberty Street
Thursdays at 7 and 8 p.m.
14900 N. Beck Road