Exeter’s 15th annual Really Big Quiz, organised by chartered accountancy firm Simpkins Edwards and held at the Corn Exchange, has raised an all-time record amount for the Lord Mayor of Exeter’s charity of the year. Beating the previous record of £8,141 set in 2015, the event, which is one of the highlights of the Devon business calendar, raised £9,174 for Age UK Exeter.
The quiz, which took place on 9 May, saw a packed hall of 73 teams fight it out for the title of Exeter’s brainiest eggheads. Simpkins Edwards’ very own John Humphrys and Jeremy Paxman - partners Adrian Hemmings and John Coombs - put the teams through their paces with a host of devious questions over eight rounds.
At the half way point, renowned auctioneer James Morrish of Kivells whipped the room into a bidding frenzy with the top item for the night - a tour for 20 at Exeter Brewery including food and beer tasting - going for £450.
Money raised from the auction, the raffle, a hilarious round of heads and tails, entry fees, and an injection of £2,263 from unclaimed client funds donated by Simpkins Edwards, helped beat last year’s total by £1,570. The total included a record breaking £1,470 raised by the raffle. This enabled the Lord Mayor to present a cheque to Age UK Exeter for £9,174, helping to support the work of over 280 volunteers and 100 staff who deliver services and support to over 12,000 elderly and frail in the local area every week.
The champions on the night were On Your Marks, who came third last year. Winning by a single point from 2016 winners ATASS, the team from St Mark’s Church collected the Really Big Quiz trophy for the first time since 2012. Last year’s winners, First Data Bank, came in a well-earned third place.
Commenting on the success of the event John Coombs, Partner at Simpkins Edwards, said: “Once again, the Really Big Quiz has brought businesses and teams from across the county together to help raise a tremendous amount for a very worthy cause. Through their generosity we’ve smashed the previous highest total, which means that £9,174 will now go to this year’s Lord Mayor’s charity, Age UK Exeter.
John Coombs added: “We’d like to congratulate the team from St Mark’s Church on their success and we’d also like to thank all the businesses that so generously donated prizes for the auction and raffle.”
Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Lesley Robson, commented: “I would like to thank everyone that attended the Really Big Quiz. Their fantastic support for Age UK Exeter will help make a significant difference to the lives of thousands in the local community.
“I would also like to pay special tribute to the hard work of Simpkins Edwards for organising and running their 15th Really Big Quiz. Each year they work tirelessly to put on this amazing fundraising event, which to date has raised over £77,000 for the Lord Mayor of Exeter’s charities of the year.”
Adrian Hemmings of Simpkins Edwards added: “We had a great evening of fun, thrills and spills. Once again, James Morrish of Kivells played a fantastic part in encouraging guests to dig deep into their pockets and bid for a host of wonderful prizes. With his help, we added thousands of pounds to the total for the night. We’d also like to give special mention to the Sea Cadets who once again collected answer sheets and distributed prizes enabling the smooth running of the event. Their help plays a key part in making the quiz a huge success and an enjoyable evening for all involved.”