What on Earth! creator Christopher Lloyd with overall champ Joseph Mallion, 14 (Picture: Harriet Buckingham)
Some of the cleverest kids in the country have faced off in a battle of the wits to decide who will be named the first ever What on Earth! Individuals Quiz champion.
Metro teamed up with our friends at What on Earth! Magazine to host the brainteasing spectacle in the heart of London today.
Ultimately, only two kids could be victorious – one each from the junior and senior competitions.
Mikhail Stakhov, 10, from St Faith’s School, Cambridge came out on top among the juniors.
He told Metro: ‘It was very stiff competition but I’m glad I won the first prize.’
Winner of the senior category Joseph Mallion, 14, from Bullers Wood School for Boys in Bromley said: ‘This feels amazing.
‘I came here just for a day off school and I did not expect to win at all.
‘Congratulations to everyone else who competed I’m so happy with the result.’
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As the top scorer of the day, Joseph nabbed the overall Metro quiz champion trophy as well as the seniors trophy – and a selection of What on Earth! books.
Previously, the quiz has only been open to schools, and the 2023 event was the first time individual kids were put to the test.
Can you answer the headscratchers posed to competitors today?
1. What is the fastest moving thing in the universe?
2. What precious stone does it rain on Jupiter and Saturn?
3. Name one of the only two egg-laying mammals that are around today.
4. Kryptos is an ancient Greek word. What does it mean in English?
5. What instrument is used to measure wind speed?
6. English is the most spoken language on our planet. What languages are the 2nd and 3rd?
7. How many legs would a consortium of a dozen octopuses have?
8. In England, when did women finally achieve the right to vote on the same terms as men?
9. What is the capital city of Hungary?
10. Name the process that all plants use to make the energy they need.
You can find the answers at the bottom of this story.
One school travelled all the way from Burnley in Lancashire to London to take part in the event this afternoon.
Autumn Herret was among the pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary School who got up at 4.30am for the big journey south.
The 10-year-old said: ‘This is an exciting experience because I’ve never been to London before.
‘Burnley is a tiny town so everything seems so massive here.
‘It’s very challenging with all the transport and stuff, but we got here in the end.
‘Some of the questions have been a bit challenging – particularly the ones for the seniors, who are really competitive.’
The pupils of St Mary’s RC Primary School in Burnley – including Autumn in the white headband and Oliver at the front – made it to the event after a long journey (Picture: Harriet Buckingham)
Oliver Whitehead, also 10, said: ‘It feels confusing and exciting to be down in London today. It’s not every day you get to go down to London to see your schoolmates compete.’
The quiz is the brainchild of What on Earth! founder Christopher Lloyd, who launched the magazine last year to help satisfy children’s insatiable thirst for knowledge.
Talking from today’s event at Stationers Hall he said: ‘The critical thinking skills to identify what is true and what is not true are needed more than ever today, and this is what today’s event is all about.
‘So much of the information we get comes through screens and social media and young people really struggle to identify what is true from this.
‘The whole power of non-fiction is creating content which is factually true for children which best equips them for the future.’
Christopher with junior category champion Mikhail Stakhov (Picture: Harriet Buckingham)
John Gordon-Reid, the organisational mastermind behind today’s quiz, said: ‘Hundreds of schools and individuals from all over the country apply to take part.
‘This starts with online heats and this is eventually whittled down to the 18 children we have here today.
‘It’s our first year with individuals as well as schools competing and the readership and following has grown massively since it was founded.’
He added the team was ‘determined’ to make sure Britain’s brainiest kids get another chance to face off in the What on Earth! Quiz next year.
1. Light – it travels at 299,792,458 metres per second
3. The platypus or the echidna
6. Mandarin Chinese and Hindi
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The winner of the Metro quiz champion trophy has been named.