UK pub quiz text cheat scandal

Most certainly not cricket

As predicted by El Reg, quiz cheats are clogging mobile information services with requests for trivia, as Britain stoops to new lows in the search for a free pint.

The pub quiz is something of an institution here is the UK: you show up at your favourite watering hole with a few friends. You have a few drinks and try to answer questions that make Trivial Pursuit seem anything but. The winning team gets some free beer, or very occassionally, a voucher they can exchange for beer at a later date. It is very simple.

But now, this much loved institution is imperiled, as mobile phone lovers are using text information services to cheat.

The provider of just such a service, RE5ULT, says it noticed that 83 per cent of questions came in during typical pub quiz times: Mondays and Tuesday between 8:00 and 10:00pm.

Founder Sarah McVittee said: "We didn't realise it to begin with but a lot of our customers are using RE5ULT to cheat in their local pub quiz. Of course we would never condone this kind of behaviour."

Despite this, instead of restricting the service to non-pub quiz hours, the company says it has hired more research staff to cope with demand during peak hours, so it looks like our cheating ways are good for the employment figures.

What's more, it's extremely unlikely that these new posts will ever face outsourcing since your average Bangalore callcentre operative is unlikely to know Dirty Den's inside leg measurement.

Pub landlord Ben Hurley is not impressed, however. When told of the scam he remarked: "We thought it was slightly odd that the same guys were winning every week. It looks as though we're going to have to ban mobiles in order to ensure a fair game." ®

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