Game creator puts Maryland to the trivia testYou're...


June 05, 1994|By Mary Corey

Game creator puts Maryland to the trivia test

You're heading down the ocean, trapped in a traffic jam the size of Delaware. The kids have given up on the coloring books, video games and renditions of "Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall."

What's a travel-weary parent to do?

Bill King has a suggestion: Try trivia.

Just in time for summer vacations, Mr. King, a former restaurant consultant, has come out with "What'ya Know About Maryland?" --a portable card game of local trivia.

Geography, politics, sports and other topics are covered in this pack of facts, figures and a few misspellings about the state.

For instance, when you visit Ocean City, what county are you in? (Worcester County.) Or, which Marylander was the first director of the Peace Corps? (Sargent Shriver.) Name Maryland's state boat. (The skipjack.)

A lifelong trivia buff, Mr. King, 69, decided to enter the business after retiring last year. His first effort, "What'ya Know About America?" sold 15,000 copies and is also available as a puzzle.

XTC He spent a year researching the Maryland game from the basement office of his East Baltimore home, while his wife, Susan, worked with printers and manufacturers. (The game, which retails for around $8, is available at Celebrate Maryland in Ellicott City or by writing Bill King, 3754 Ravenwood Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21213.)

His ultimate dream is to one day wind up on "Jeopardy!" although he's not certain how he'd fare.

"I'd like to go on if I could pick my own categories," he says. "When you get into opera and plays and physics, you lose me."

Steve Lynch has developed a skill that many would keep confidential: He's a prize-winning fund-raiser.

It all started five years ago when the Annapolis resident, a sales manager for ITT Automotive, participated in a bike ride sponsored by the American Lung Association of Maryland. He amazed himself, his family and his bike-riding buddies by raising $1,100. Last year, he collected $7,400 and the honor of being the ride's top fund-raiser. He's close to raising $9,000 for the ride scheduled for next weekend on the Eastern Shore.

Mr. Lynch, who calls himself "42 and holding," took up biking about five years ago as a way to get back into shape to play baseball. Now he's devoted to the sport and his Univega Montero, a 21-speed bike, which is a cross between a mountain bike and a street bike.

The key to his fund-raising success, he says, is soliciting money from his customers. This year he has collected 17 donations; the largest -- $1,400 -- is from Interco Parts Corporation of Hauppauge, N.Y. (ITT Automotive matches a percentage of the money he raises and will contribute $3,520.)

"I've got a lot of respect for people who raise money the old-fashioned way, by bugging their friends and getting 15 checks to raise $600," Mr. Lynch says. "That's what I did until I went to one of my customers and said, 'Would you like to donate to this?' and he said, 'How about $400?' and the bells went off."

The Chesapeake Bay Bike Tour, this Saturday and Sunday, is geared to bikers of all levels.

Registration is $35, and all participants must agree to pledge at least $250. (Last year's ride raised $110,000.)

For details, call (800) 642-1184.

Have someone to suggest? Write Susan Hipsley, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or call (410) 332-6717.

Linell Smith

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