The team of three was trailing after the first two rounds yesterday. But in the third and final round, it foiled a sabotage attack by Innova Junior College's (IJC) Team 2 to catapult into the lead with 120 points.
"We panicked at first when we saw we were lagging behind. Being the underdogs, however, it fuelled our resolve to win," said Ketan Pathak, 17, a student from YJC, which hosted the event. Teammate Choong Xiu Hong, 17, added: "When we got 'sabo-ed', we already knew the answer, so in the end we nailed it."
The question deflected to them could have given them 30 points - or cost them 30 points.
The team, which included Selvaganeshamoorthi B., 16, also decided not to sabotage any of the teams when it realised it was in the lead.
That camaraderie showed throughout the event, as both YJC and IJC turned the gameshow into a friendly match.
At one point, YJC's Team 2 took on a 30-point question only to turn the question onto IJC, which could not answer and lost 30 points. One of the saboteurs from YJC apologetically patted the arm of an IJC contestant on stage. After the competition, students from the two schools took several photographs together.
Earlier on, insights from The Straits Times newsroom kept some 600 students from YJC and IJC riveted. The speaker, the paper's deputy news editor Mathew Pereira, shared titbits about how a news story gets published.
Highlights included quirky facts about how the daily publication has a comparable number of words to novels such as Lord Of The Flies.
The hour-long question-and-answer session that followed had students asking about topics from censorship to sensationalism. "The questions were good. (The students) were genuinely curious. Not many know how the papers and the media work," said Mr Pereira.
Organised by The Straits Times and the Ministry of Education with Singapore Press Holdings as the presenting sponsor, the quiz aims to ignite an interest in local current affairs and issues. The final round of The Big Quiz will be on July 29, at Pioneer Junior College.
This article was first published on May 28, 2015.
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