When the coronavirus forced bars and restaurants to close, that shut the door on in-person trivia night as well.  Over the past seven weeks, virtual trivia has become the new normal.  

“We always thought of trivia as the questions are tangential to what’s really going on which is seeing your friends and family," said Brian Cocca, said the founder of Syracuse Trivia Company. "We’re not able to do that much anymore. And to hear that this is kind of bringing people together even more makes it feel even more important.”

Twice a week, Cocca and his team host a virtual game. Every Wednesday there is a different theme. On Friday nights, he asks general knowledge questions. Sometimes as many as 365 teams participate.

“It gives us that reason to get on a conference call with our friends and family," said Cocca. "I got a message from someone at our last event and he said that the trivia has been the most he has talked to his family in years. That kind of touched me a little bit.”

Cocca has been hosting trivia around Central New York for 10 years. The games are free to join. He collects donations — half go toward keeping the event going and the other half help a local non-profit. Friday night, the game benefits Vera House.

“Almost everyone is hurting pretty bad here," said Cocca. "We’re going to try to use the platform we have to shine a light on the many different types of need that are out there and to help those causes out.”

If you want to test your knowledge, the games are available on the Syracuse Trivia Company YouTube page.