Think Fast! For $200

Music pulsed, lights flashed and neurons fired as students entered Kemper Auditorium for the psychedelic, fast-paced and unpredictable game that is Think Fast. Last Saturday night, students were forced to sing, dance, make animal noises and answer random questions within a two second time period in an attempt to win a cash prize of $200 at this game show event. To narrow down the competition from the masses that attended, everyone first joined a team of four or more and received an electronic remote. Team names assigned by remote included “Blobbs,” “Dr. Evil” and “Divas.” This remote, given to the leader of each team, allowed each group to answer the initial multiple-choice questions before the game began. A total of three rounds of questions were fired at students. Ranging from film to music, planetariums and sports, every question was both shown on the screen and read aloud by the emcee and creator of Think Fast, Jason Long. The winners from the first two rounds were guaranteed a spot in the final prize round. Although those two previous winners were assured their position onstage regardless of answering correctly, Long, aided by the audience, chose random people to fill the two remaining spots during the third and final round. Should one of the second two people answer a question incorrectly, they would lose their place onstage, and the next randomly chosen person inherited their points. Carolyn Whittingham ’11, who was called upon to make animal noises for her spot onstage, said, “Getting embarrassed in front of a crowd was exciting and exhilarating.” Think Fast is advertised as a game in which anyone can win up until the last second. Will Hunckler ’08 certainly proved that claim by leading his team, “The Pioneers,” to victory on the last question. Simply by walking onstage, Hunckler earned 900 out of the 1000 points needed to win. When he correctly answered the last question, “What is the most common car color in the United States?” with “White,” the game was over. While the rest of the crowd erupted in cheers, Hunckler and his two other teammates, Jane Shin ’08 and Murphy Temple ’08, were given the $200. Although Think Fast may be a highlight of Phillips Academy events, Long said, “We rarely do high schools.” This close-knit company is the number one college act in America, and Phillips Academy is fortunate enough to have been a venue not once, but twice. While Think Fast originally came here solely for orientation, Kennan Daniel said, “Ms. Effinger was primarily involved in bringing Think Fast to Andover a second time so everyone, not just the new students, could enjoy it.” The students certainly did enjoy this interactive game; so much, in fact, that Long would periodically have to quiet the crowd down in order to hear answers from the people onstage. Regardless of the fierce competition, however, seeing peers and friends being put on the spot and generally embarrassed was pure entertainment. Students’ love of Think Fast has not disappeared; “I would come back next year,” said Dan Austin ’10. No longer just a fond memory from orientation, Think Fast held its own against the lively brains of Phillips Academy students and will hopefully return again next year for another resounding challenge and more hilarious fun on a Saturday night.