'Silver State Trivia' Aims to Educate

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RENO, Nev. -- From the Biggest Little City to Sin City, Nevada has claimed its fame, but between those two cities is a trail of history that not too many people know about, Nevadans included. One local created a fun way for native Nevadans and newcomers to discover the diverse culture of the Silver State.

Many Nevadans are proud to be Battle Born and aren't afraid to express it. One mispronunciation of the state name sends shivers down the spine; it is the equivalent to the sound of nails on a chalkboard.

Most Nevadans know their capital is Carson City, but not too many of them realize it's an independent city and does not belong to any county. Not many Nevadans know that Mark Twain started his career in Virginia City or that former President Nixon's wife, Pat Nixon was born in Ely.

Garrett Menghini is a Reno native and has strong family ties to Nevada history. He wanted to clear the common misconceptions of his beloved state.

"There is more to our state than gambling, tourism, and divorce," Menghini said. "What goes on in our state aside from Reno and Vegas, everything in between is pretty amazing."

His love for the Silver State and trivia questions sparked a business venture.

"It started with a few, maybe 40 questions on some index cards and played it at a New Years party," he said. "Folks had a really good time and they said 'oh yeah you should try to market this and see how it goes."

Thus, Silver State Triva was born. He created a 216-question trivia card game to make education fun outside of the classroom.

Unlike many Nevadans, Garrett got to explore all the different cities in Nevada.

"We'd pick a weekend and just go drive and see what we could find. Get on a dirt road and see what ghost town we came across or see what sort of piece of the state we could uncover."

As the seventh largest state in the nation, many towns in Nevada fall through the cracks and are overshadowed by the two renown cities.

"The smaller cities that most people don't normally think of when they hear Nevada, there's a surprising amount of history wrapped up in those," Menghini said. "Driving down those valleys and seeing those oil fields makes you think, 'hmm I didn't know that was in Nevada."

Learning Nevada's history is part of the Washoe County School District's fourth grade curriculum.

"I think if kids see this as a fun game and if they enjoy it and they can bring it home to mom and dad and say 'oh hey mom hey dad look what we learned today," he said. "The importance of history can't be understated."

Silver State trivia is now available for purchase. Type in the code word "KOLOTV" and you can get a 25 percent discount.