The gasps in the auditorium grew louder every time students of Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School hit the buzzer at The Hindu Young World Quiz-2010 Puducherry edition here on Saturday.
As the quiz reached half time, they emerged clear winner, extending their lead over other teams with ease and answering almost every question that was put forward by quiz master V.V. Ramanan. At the end of the quiz, their score was 157, a number which made Mr. Ramanan remark that this was one of the most dominating performances this year among regional events.
In the process, R. Avinaash and R. Guru Dharshane had dethroned the team from St. Patrick Matriculation Higher Secondary School, who were a distant second with 55 points. But, the school which had won the quiz in the previous three editions, drew appreciation from the audience for answering some tough questions and putting up a spirited fight.
The Pondicherry Engineering College (PEC) auditorium was abuzz with excitement in the morning when over 326 teams from 87 schools took their seats from preliminary round. A total of six teams were selected for the final round to compete for a place in the grand final to be held in Chennai on November 25.
There was a fresh format for the quiz this year as Mr. Ramanan integrated both direct and buzzer questions during the 60-minute thriller. The “matrix” format also had a picture of a famous personality - Prince Williams - in the background, that was unlocked part by part with every successful answer by the teams. Again, only the winners guessed the person right, receiving a thunderous applause from the audience.
The quiz also had questions under five different heads: anything goes, topsy turvy, click, ‘mera bharat mahan' and multimedia masala.
When none of teams could answer a question, like the one on singer Mohammed Rafi or the date of the Gandhi-Irvin pact, the audience wasted no time in shouting the answers, vying for special prizes that were on offer from the sponsors.
But, the man who stole the spotlight was chief guest of the event - cricketer L. Balaji. He received a loud cheer from the crowd when he entered the venue and had a hard time signing autographs for a huge crowd of schoolchildren. Giving away the prizes, Mr. Balaji said that one should feel proud about being an Indian and must ensure that he gives something back to society in whatever field he might be in.
The Velammal Educatonal Trust was the title sponsors for the event and Pepsodent was the associate sponsor. Other national sponsors included Aquasure, Black Thunder, Gold Winner, YO Bikes, Tamilnadu Mercantile Bank, Cherry Blossom, Reynolds, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Penguin Books and Firefox Bikes. TATA Nano was the car sponsor.
Prizes at the Puducherry edition included gifts from regional sponsors such as De Jayamani Furniture, Siara Systems, Shamrock Systems KKM Agencies and Shri Janani Homes.
Hotel Mass provided snacks for all participants and Classique Packaged Drinking Water distributed water bottles. The venue of the event was sponsored by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Puducherry, and beverages by Dabur Real Fruit Juice. The event was managed by I-ads and events.