My appearance in 'Jeden z Dziesięciu' TV quiz show

16 April 2018

I didn't plan to write anything about things unrelated to programming and my coding projects, but now I've changed my mind. Even if it's just in order to keep track of things I did in the past, then I think it may be beneficial ;) I'll write only about the most important things, anyway.

The first 'private' post is about my appearance in a TV quiz show produced by the polish public television.

'Jeden z Dziesięciu', based on the British 'Fifteen to One' format, is the interesting quiz show I'm watching (with varying frequency) at least since the year 2000.

The rules of the show

To start, there are ten participants who need to answer the questions. Every player can make at most two mistakes.
Players, after a correct answer, choose who should be asked next. This phase continues until just three players remain in the game. They take part in the final.
It is pretty similar to the previous phase: After a few free-for-all questions, the first player who correctly answers for three questions can select who will answer next. It goes on until only one player remains or they run out of questions. The questions can fall in one of about 100 categories, so one may be asked for almost anything, like history, geography, chemistry, actors, sport, foreign languages (especially Latin :) )... It's also possible to select yourself to answer for the question to gain more points, but they matter only if you win and want to take part in the (monthly) grand final.

Back to the story

Of course when I was a child I didn't know the answer for most of the questions, but the enormous knowledge presented by the contestants has always fascinated me and motivated to learn and study. So, after years of watching it, I decided to give it a try and apply to eliminations which were hosted in my city in November 2017. I expected to meet just a few people, but I was pretty surprised to see a line of more than a hundred wannabe participants waiting in front of the building. The eliminations went pretty well (I correctly answered for 19 out of 20 easy questions) and I was invited to Lublin (where the quiz is recorded) on the 16th of February.

I don't like to speak in public, so I hoped the program would be watched by maybe a few thousand people. Apparently, just before going there, I've read about a peak in number of watchers - almost 3 million people. So, well... X_X

Picture with Tadeusz Sznuk taken on 16th of February

I wasn't able to make a better selfie :(

I was a bit stressed in the beginning and I was pretty unsure about most of my answers, remembering to

Always take into consideration the fact that you might be dead wrong

but it went pretty well. I was in the top 3 players of the episode, only losing by being eliminated by the eventual winner.


Here is the recording. I didn't upload it to youtube, because they remove copyrighted content :(
I'm #6.

My questions

I was asked the following questions:

Stage 1

Q: Was Ondraszek a real person?
A: Yes

Q: Which suits of cards are red?
A: Karo (Diamonds) and Kier (Hearts) - in Poland we use French names

Stage 2

Q: Which epoch directly preceded the Iron age?
A: Bronze

Q: In which state of the USA does Mamutowiec Olbrzymi (Giant Redwood) grow naturally?
A: California

Q: Do Walruses live in Arctica?
A: Yes

Q: Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman - did they have the same nationality?
A: Yes, both Swedish. (I failed. No idea why I didn't remember that and had suspicion that Ingmar could be Danish)

Q: Whose last name is mentioned in a first aid manouver in case of choking?
A: Heimlich's Manouver (I didn't know the answer)

Q: What does the English name 'Fox Trot' mean exactly in Polish?
A: I've said 'Lisi chód' (literally: walk of the fox), which wasn't the expected answer but it was accepted

Stage 3 - Final

Q: What is the highest number in the decimal system using two different digits?
A: 98

Q: What word is used in the title of Polish translation of the Copernicus' work - (Celestial) Object, Sphere, Planete?
A: Sphere (I still feel ashamed my answer was wrong. I've said Object. It's impossible to correctly translate this question)

Q: To which sea does Luxembourg have access?
A: It's land-locked

Q: Biała Podlaska, Bielsk Podlaski, Sokołów Podlaski - which town is the one located in Podlaskie voivodeship?
A: Bielsk Podlaski (hard, but the map from Hearts of Iron II helped me a bit)

Poland in 1936 as depicted in Hearts of Iron II

I had about 3 seconds to recall that Bielsk on HoI II map was next to Białystok - a capital of Podlaskie ;)

Q: Thrombocytes - which tissue are they part of?
A: Connective tissue (The more precise answer could be: fluid connective tissue, also known as blood)

Q: On which American Battleship did Japan sign a surrender in 1945?
A: USS Missouri (I gave no answer)

Q: Question about two polish names of far-sightedness. This question is not translatable into English.
A: My answer was correct.

Q: Give at least one of the three first names of Casanova.
A: Giovanni Giacomo Girolamo (My answer was French 'Jean' which is John, just as Italian 'Giovanni', so if I said it in Polish then it would most likely be accepted. But anyway it looks like the 'Giovanni' was an oversight in the answer prepared by the staff of the quiz, as Wikipedia in many languages mentions just 2 first names of Casanova, and Giovanni is name of his brother)

What next?

Together with a justification to visit Lublin, Mrs. Sylwia has given me a watch and a few smaller gifts.

I'll be allowed to play again in four years. I can't wait for that, because it was so much fun. :)
More than a year ago I've started to take notes of the hard questions and I'm going to continue that. Next time I'll be much better prepared ;)

My notes - hard questions and my results

My notes are pretty hard to read

Another challenge is to digitalize a few thousand questions I've already written in my notebook. I keep the new ones in the Excel spreadsheet, but I didn't even start to move the old ones there.

In the spreadsheet I also keep my daily results. No surprise that my real appearance in the show was one of the worst in terms of the percent of questions I've managed to answer correctly. ;)

So far, looking globally, I've made 2034 mistakes in 7732 questions, which means 73% of my answers were correct, so there's a lot to improve :)

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