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The first time the crowd of 600-plus roars inside the Cut Off Youth Center during a trivia event is somewhat startling.

Especially considering it’s provoked by the first answer of 110 questions. Still, hands slap, clap and grasp, and a few of the participants dressed in Hawaiian shirts thrust their balled fists upward.

As the night passes, as more challenging questions are resolved, the responses are comparatively subdued. Rather than shouts and high-fives en masse, knowing nods are the standard, the exuberance tempered.

It’s the passive reactions that illuminate the contenders, the trivia buffs who rarely miss an event on the Tri-parish circuit, the intellectuals who bind together to chase victory, the participants who only make audible noise when they are incorrect.

Those who draw joy from trivia – and those looking for a fun time, in general – flock to the Cut Off Youth Center each year to participate in the area’s Trivia Mecca.

“I come for the cause, and to defend our honor,” says John Doucet, interim dean of the college of arts and sciences at Nicholls State. “We won two years ago.”

Doucet’s team, “The Oystermen,” finished third with 87 points.

“In Your Dreams” earned the $940 top-prize after correctly answering 91 out of 110 questions at this year’s trivia night, which benefits Special Education District No. 1 through Friends of the Center. Dru Guidry captained the team, which also consisted of Mary Belisle, Dana Griffin, Nicole Lee and Ronnie and Susan Skinner.

“It’s fun,” Guidry says. “It’s the one time a year that I get to use all the useless information I have going through my brain … I love learning.”

The team, which has participated in the event for 10 years, has never finished below eighth place, Guidry says. Guidry’s mother and father started the team but had to miss out this year because Guidry’s mother is in a chemotherapy treatment program. “We played for her,” Guidry says. “She won, too. “

The Lafourche Committee on Disability Issues hosts its annual trivia night April 14 at the Warren J. Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium. Forty-three teams participated in the event last year.

“The Force,” captained by Susan Blair, are the defending champions. They finished 11th at the Cut Off event, but were missing a regular teammate.

Guidry wouldn’t commit to defending the Cut Off championship in Thibodaux.

In addition to the competition, attendees can frequent a cash bar, food court and silent auction displays. Of course, the team with the best costumes receives a prize.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and the contest begins at 6:30. To register, visit LMCDI.org or call Monique at (985) 637-1546.

– editor@gumboguide.com

Trivia night at the Cut Off Youth Center drew more than 600 participants, according to organizers. “In Your Dreams,” captained by Dru Guidry, won the event after correctly answering 91 of 110 questions.