Column #84 So You Want to be a Darts Millionaire?
February 1, 2000
So You Want to be a Darts Millionaire?
I nearly puked the night before the Super Bowl. I turned on Regis Philban’s new show to be blasted with a full HOUR of questions dedicated to professional football trivia. Yuck! But THAT wasn’t what nearly bought my shoes my lunch. What happened was I didn’t know the answer to one of the VERY FIRST QUESTIONS!! Now how could that be? I RAN a football pool the entire time I was in college. “Pigskin Madness” we called it. And I swear, back in the 1970’s, the “red zone” was in Amsterdam, not the NFL.
This got me to thinking about how unfair a place the world we live in really is. So I did the research. There are thirty-one professional football teams. Each has an active roster of something like sixty-five guys. This means there are something like 2,000 professional football players IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, if you don’t count those Canadian and European leagues — and, seriously, who would?
So, by my calculation there are approximately 10,500 darters for every single professional football player. The question then must follow: why do THEY, and not us, get a night with Regis Philban? For $100. The correct answer is: a) the public just plain tunes in to shows about big, dumb, murderers, drug dealers and sex offenders; b) the negotiator for the players union promised Regis a night with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders; c) it costs a lot of money to have a show written and Regis just doesn’t have fifteen questions about darts; d) a rectal thermometer.
Of course, the correct answer is “c”. Those of you who chose “d” probably played in the Super Bowl. Anyway, NOW Regis has his damn fifteen questions. And so do you, dart people.
You’re fifteen questions away from winning the BIG ONE. Once you reach the $1,000 or $32,000 level you’re guaranteed of at least that much money. If you’re a wussie and need lifelines, you’ve got three to help you. Fifty-fifty, where the computer inside the soft-tip machine will take away two of the wrong answers, leaving just one wrong answer and the correct answer. You can phone a friend anywhere in the world. Our friends, who have purchased cell phones from moonlighting drug dealers on street corners in south Los Angeles, will find him or her and bring them to you for help. And, finally, you can poll the audience — in this case, your drunk friends at your neighborhood bar, for help. So, dart people. Are you ready to go? Drunk friends, are you ready to play? Okay. Let’s play “Who Wants to be a DARTS MILLIONAIRE!”
So strap in with me here in this modern looking high-chair thing on the center of the shiny, round, see-through stage. Sweat under the multiple weird-ass beams from above. Watch the bolts of blue and orange neon lights dance to the dramatic music. And then: CONCENTRATE. Yep. Sit. Sweat. Watch. And concentrate. Life as you know it could be about to change. A million bucks can buy a whole lotta beer.
Okay baby. Here we go! For $100. The primary tool of the trade in our sport is called? a) a basketball; b) a six-pack; c) a dart; d) a gerbil.
For $200. Better get out your little pocket calculator. At $1.25 per beer during Happy Hour, how many Budweisers can you purchase with one million dollars? a) 1,000,000; b) 800,000; c) 750,000; d) 500,000.
Good job. Good job. For $300 now.
In the evolution of the sport of darts which came first? a) soft-tip; b) steel-tip; c) the chicken; d) Jerry Umberger.
TERRIFIC! Now, here comes the $500 question. Which one of the following is not one of the huge bodies governing the sport of darts in America? a) ADA; b) NDA; c) Tom Fleetwood; d) ADA.
Now, for a GUARANTEED $1,000:
In the steel-tip game, the person who is called upon to keep score during a match is most commonly? a) referred to as the chucker; b) called the chalker; c) functionally illiterate; d) found hiding in the bathroom.
Okay. SUPER job so far. You’ve got $1,000 in the bag and you’re just ten answers away from the big ONE MILLION DOLLARS! The questions, of course, begin to get more difficult. So, sit. Sweat. Watch. CONCENTRATE! Have confidence in your final answer. For $2,000. In reaction to recent surveys which have estimated the recreational dart throwing public to number more than twenty-one million, darts and darts accessories have begun to quickly find their way into popular culture. Dart boards are often used in product advertising and found as props in movies. The game itself has made its way into sitcom programming. In which of the following popular sitcoms has an actual game of darts, or partial game, not been featured? a) Men Behaving Badly; b) Cheers; c) Frasier; d) MASH.
Alright. You’re doing well. You’re going for $4,000 now and here’s the question. There are two basic games of darts: cricket and ’01. If your opponent jumps ahead in a game of cricket with a t20, t19, t18 — what is your best strategy? a) stab him in the head; b) pound the 17s; c) shove a gerbil down his pants; d) get out that rectal thermometer!
We’re going for $8,000 now. Take a careful look. In a Luck of the Draw situation you are in deep trouble if for a partner you draw? a) Paul Lim; b) Dave Marienthal; c) Roger Carter; d) Mr. Pootywinkle.
Okay. You’re in great shape, my friend. For $16,000. Darts is a sport in which mathematics is essential to success. How many darts are required to close with a score of two remaining? a) 1; b) 2; c) 3; d) 1,216 on a good day.
Good job! You’re now just six questions away from one million dollars.
Buckle down for the ride. The questions get SERIOUS now. For a GUARANTEED $32,000. Over the years numerous authors have included a significant sub-plot about our sport in their novels. In which of the following books was darts not a theme? a) The Bachelor Duke by James Lees-Milne; b) London Fields by Martin Amis; c) For Kicks by Dick Francis; d) Balling the Jack by Frank Baldwin.
CONGRATULATIONS!! You are now GUARANTEED to receive no less than $32,000!!
It’s getting very exciting now. If you miss this question you still have $32,000. Answer it correctly and you DOUBLE your winnings. For $64,000.
Which of the following terms is not the accurate vernacular used to refer to the traditional game of darts in the country which uses the term? a) Iceland — piluspil; b) Italy — freccette; c) Venezuela — cerbatana; d) Thailand — lookdog.
Now listen. It’s getting serious. We’re going for $125,000. In 1987 the National Darts Hall of Fame was founded. Since that time some 250 representatives of our sport have been inducted. Which of the individuals listed below has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame? a) Ray Barneveld; b) Eric Bristow; c) Bucky Bakalec; d) Phil Taylor.
Okay. Okay. For $250,000 now. If you miss this one you’ll lose $93,000. Truly an international sport, fifty-three countries currently are members of the World Darts Federation. Which of the following nations is not a member? a) France; b) Botswana; c) Latvia; d) Argentina.
Here it comes now. If you answer this question correctly you’ll be just ONE ANSWER AWAY from one million dollars. If you miss this one you’ll end up with just $32,000. That’s $500,000 or $32,000. You could cost yourself $468,000 right here, right now. Think carefully. Which one of the following celebrities does not cause one to think, albeit but momentarily, of the sport of darts? a) Frank Sinatra; b) Buddy Holly; c) Pinocchio; d) Jerry Garcia.
OKAY!! YOU’VE MADE IT TO THE BIG ONE!! If you answer this question right you’ll win one million dollars. Pass on the question and take home a cool half-million. Blow it and drop back to $32,000. Yep, $1,000,000 or $32,000. A whopping $968,000 swing of fate. Here it is!! For $1,000,000. If a can a Budweiser measures exactly five inches from top to bottom how many cans must be lined up, end to end, to stretch, on the diagonal, from the oche to the center of the bull’s eye? a) 20.6; b) 23.1; c) 30.3; d) 46.3.
UNBELIEVABLE!! You have done it!! You have scraped and struggled and lied and cheated your way to the top. You have won ONE MILLION DOLLARS!! You are a DARTS MILLIONAIRE!! What this means is that you can quit hanging out in seedy little bars, drinking beer and throwing darts through the smoke. You can now join a country club, golf and drink martinis.
To collect your winnings in cash please contact Mr. Pootywinkle.
From the Field,
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