Knowledge team finds marbles, victory

— The Knowledge Bowl team at Steamboat Springs High School earned a victory on Friday at Moffat County High School in Craig.

Knowledge Bowl coach Barb Tuchlinsky, a media specialist at the high school, said the Steamboat team "fluctuated between first and second place throughout the meet" but pulled it out in the end, earning 88 points to top Moffat County by six.

Five team members competed: freshmen Charlie Stoddard and Anna Roder, sophomore Sam Chovan, junior Kristin Toy and senior Sarah Bockelman.

Fortunately, Stoddard did not lose his marbles at the event.

Tuchlinsky said one of the questions read: "Box 1 contains one pink and two black marbles, Box 2 contains one black and two red marbles, Box 3 contains one black and two gray marbles. If one marble is drawn randomly from each box, what is the probability that they are all black?"

Stoddard gave the correct answer faster than students at four other regional schools: 2 out of 27. That figure is found by multiplying the probabilities of drawing a black marble out of each box. In the first box, the probability is 2/3. In the second and third boxes one out of three marbles is black. Two-thirds multiplied by 1/3, multiplied by 1/3 again, is 2/27.

Tuchlinsky said there was one question that stumped all the students. From the "silly book combinations" category:

"What would be the title of this imaginary book: Holden learns that if you're insane, you'll probably flunk out of prep school, but if you're flunking out of prep school, you're probably not insane."

The answer is "Catch 22 in the Rye," combining J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" -- in which the main character is prep school adolescent Holden Caufield -- and Joseph Heller's war novel about no-win situations, "Catch 22."

"That was the most oddball question," Tuchlinsky said. "No team answered that one correctly."

The Knowledge Bowl team has a home meet Friday at the high school.