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Quizbola - A Party Game with a Twist

Updated on July 10, 2014
Tambola Ticket with Numbers
Tambola Ticket with Numbers
Quizbola  Ticket with Answers
Quizbola Ticket with Answers
Quizbola Q-Card
Quizbola Q-Card
Master List
Master List


Part Luck, Part Brains. All Fun

Quizbola is a party game that combines two different but highly enjoyable activities in one terrific experience. One of them is quizzing, the other is Tambola, a game of chance, also known as Housie or Lotto

What is Tambola?

Tambola , also known as Bingo, Housie or Lotto, is a game of luck or chance. Each player is given a Ticket printed with a unique set of 15 random numbers (from 1 to 90) arranged in 3 rows of 5 numbers each. One person is appointed as the host for the game. The host has a set of 90 chips, each with a number on it. Numbers are from 1 to 90. The host picks out a chip from a bag that contains 90 chips and calls it out to the player. If the number that is called out by the host is in the participant’s set of 15 numbers, the player crosses it out. The host then takes out another chip and calls out the number on it. This is repeated till one of the player crosses out all the 15 numbers on his Ticket and stakes his claim to the winnings.

Winning a game of tambola is based purely on luck.

What is Quizbola?

In Quizbola, instead of random numbers, the ticket contains answers to quiz questions. These are arranged in 3 rows of 5 answers or 15 answers on a ticket. The questions to these answers are printed on “Q-Cards”, one Q-Card for one question. The host picks out a Q-Card at random and reads it aloud to the participants. The host does not reveal the answer.

Let’s say the question on the Q-Card is “Who invented the electric bulb?” The correct answer is “Thomas Edison”.

If the participant knows the correct answer, that is, Thomas Edison and that answer is on his ticket, he crosses out the answer (see photo of Quizbola Ticket with Answers)

The first participant to cross out all the 15 answers is eligible to stake a claim to the winnings.

The Quizbola Twist!

But here’s where things get interesting. There are four possibilities:

  • The participant knows the answer to the question and the answer is on his ticket. He promptly crosses out the answer . He has knowledge and luck on his side!
  • The participant knows the answer to the question, but the answer is not on his ticket. He has knowledge but no luck!
  • The participant erroneously crosses out a wrong answer, thinking that it’s the right answer. He has neither knowledge nor luck on his side. If he stakes a claim to the winnings based on his answer, his claim will be denied!
  • The participant does now know the answer to the question but the answer is on his ticket. He does not cross out the answer. Again, he has neither luck nor knowledge on his side.

The first person to cross out all 15 answers stakes his claim to the winnings. If he has correctly crossed out all the right answers, he gets the spoils. However, it may well be that some of his answers were mistakenly crossed out! In this case his ticket is forfeited and he has to exit from that round of the game.

How Many Players can play?

Quizbola can be played with 6 people or more. A host is selected at the beginning of a session. The host does not play the game.


Before the beginning of the game, the group fixes a price for a Ticket. Players are free to purchase as many Tickets as they like. The total money collected from the sale of Tickets is then used to set the prize money. Depending on the group, non-cash gifts purchased from the money collected can be used instead of cash prizes.


The group can decide to have either one grand prize or several prizes. For example, a prize for the first person who crosses out 5 correct answers, or a prize for the first person who crosses out all correct answers in a single row. There are many possibilities

Preparation and Materials

  • Q-Cards. These are either sheets of paper – like cue cards used by presenters - on which is printed a numbered question (see photo Quizbola Q Card). They can be either printed or created digitally as a power point slide for instance, and flashed on a on a computer screen for all participants to see. Questions can be chosen from a set theme, such as movies, famous personalities or historical events, or from a mix of different themes. The type of questions and the degree of difficulty can be tailored according to the interests and level of general knowledge of the group. Ninety Q-Cards are needed for one game. Once a question is asked the host checks it out in the master list (see Photo Master List), to indicate that it has been “used".
  • Q-Card Box – This is box with a lid that will hold Q-cards. The host will dip into the box and take out a Q-card and read it aloud.
  • Used Card Box. This is a box to dump those Q cards that have been read. This will prevent any Q-Card to be accidentally re-used
  • Answer Tickets.These are rectangular slips of paper with 15 boxes (see photo Quizbola Answer Ticket). Each box contains the answer to one question. No two Tickets should have the same set of 15 answers.
  • Master List: This is a list of all the 90 questions and their answers. As the host asks a question, that question is checked out in the list. This list is used to verify claims staked by the participants.
  • Computer and a Projector with screen (only in case Digital Q cards are used)

How was Quizbola born….

The idea of Quizbola came to me on lazy afternoon. As a member of the executive committee of my business school alumni association, I was asked to organize an interesting game for an alumni get together.

I knew that this audience would love a cerebral challenge. After all these were sharp, highly successful managers, many of them engineers, in addition to being MBAs. But a simple quiz session would be too boring. I wanted to add a twist to it.

As I was thinking about it, I asked myself a question, Wouldn't it be great if I could come up with a quiz where to win, participants would not only need brains but also luck? Something that would add the thrill of a game of chance to a brain teaser?

Then it stuck me. What if I use the format of Bingo or Tambola, and simply replace the numbers by answers? Thus was born Quizbola! I put together a list of questions. Did some programing in excel to create the tickets. (Yes, it does take some doing to ensure that each answer sheet has a unique set of 15 answers!). and by the evening I was ready with a brand new party game!

Needless to say, it was a big hit. Folks were wondering where I got the idea from!


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