While the festive season might usually mean dusting off the Scrabble board or digging out the Monopoly money, we all know that the usual family get-togethers will be a little different this year.
However, that’s not to say the annual festive family rivalry needs to be cast aside completely, as one pair of Aberdeen quiz masters are working hard to ensure there are plenty of virtual quizzes available to spread some cheer.
Jonathan Murray and his fiancee Lynne Warren have offered up hundreds of quiz questions since their House of Quiz website rocketed to success.
Mr Murray, a well abandonment engineer in the oil industry, and Miss Warren, a geologist in the energy industry, are looking forward to bringing people together with their virtual challenges over the festive period.
I think, particularly in the United Kingdom, quizzes have been incredibly important in bringing people together in 2020.”
House of Quiz creator Jonathan Murray.
House of Quiz has its usual quizzes, but also a specific Christmas page which is helping to raise money for vulnerable children too.
“The Christmas page was an idea I had when I was researching demand for online quizzes,” Mr Murray said. “In normal years there is a spike at Christmas time so I thought there could only be more of a need this year with the restrictions that will be in place.
“Normally I spend Christmas with my extended family in Fraserburgh but unfortunately I won’t be able to do that this year. I think that will be the case for the majority of families across the UK so I hope House of Quiz in some small part brings back the music, fun and togetherness that characterises Christmas for us.”
The 31-year-old came up with the idea of hosting weekly quizzes during lockdown in March and, as demand grew, created the website.
“Since we weren’t able to meet with our friends and family, Lynne and I wanted to run something ourselves that still meant we could spend time with each other as well as providing some entertainment and a bit of friendly competition.”
By mid-June, their Saturday night quizzes regularly attracted 25 pro teams from across the UK, America and Australia, battling it out for the House of Quiz virtual trophy.
“We stopped hosting once the restrictions were relaxed; but we had lots of requests from people who had played to make the quizzes available and lots of people seemed genuinely disappointed that we weren’t carrying on,” Mr Murray, a keen pub-quiz competitor back in the pre-virus day, added.
“So that made me think that if I could create a website, I could make the quizzes available to anyone, anywhere, and provide some quizzing entertainment in what was and still is a really difficult time.”
Quiz for Good
With that in mind, the pair have created a dedicated Christmas quiz page on the website offering up a FreePlay quiz and a charity-benefitting Quiz for Good, which has already raised more than £700.
“The Quiz for Good costs £2 to download and I have teamed up with Cash for Kids to help them with their Mission Christmas appeal,” Mr Murray said. “So every single penny brought in from the proceeds of the Quiz for Good will go straight to the charity and help the children who need it most to wake up with a present for them on Christmas Day. Not only are the quizzes fun but they’ll also benefit the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Meanwhile, the free quiz is aimed at providing some light-hearted entertainment for any families without the cash to spare over the festive period.
Mr Murray added: “I think, particularly in the United Kingdom, quizzes have been incredibly important in bringing people together in 2020. Once you have the questions, they are very easy to run and, with the technology available to us, can easily connect people right across the globe.
“On one of our lockdown House of Quizzes we had teams from the UK, USA, Spain and Australia. Without it, we would never have been able to spend that time together.”
To find out more, visit www.houseofquiz.co.uk/christmas-quizzes
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