Monday Trivia – The First Megabucks (Answers & Winner; April 27, 2015)

Roger Farmer Classic photo

Roger Farmer Classic photo

Congrats to Al H. for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto’s Custom Baits. For full details on the winning answers, read below. 

In 1986, Ray Scott held a tournament that had the potential to change the way people could watch fishing tournaments, adding spectators into the mix. Billed as “Megabucks”, this April event on the Harris Chain Of Lakes, FL, had a $2,200 entry fee, and the promise of three-quarter million dollars in cash and prizes with the winner netting $101,000. Starting with over 200 anglers willing to shell out that kind of money, anglers competed for 3 days in typical format style to whittle the field down to the Top 10 anglers overall. From there, they would move to a smaller venue for the final two days, the lake sectioned off into “holes,” with each angler getting a chance to fish each hole, rotating throughout the day. Along with the format uniqueness, spectators were able to take up positions along the shorelines, roads and bridges of the final course to watch anglers compete, similar to the way spectators get to watch golfers play from hole to hole. Local news reports put the total number of spectators at roughly 3,000 for this first event, and the finals were covered for later television coverage on the Nashville Network (TNN).

Roger Farmer of Dalton, GA won that initial event with 68-00 pounds of bass, his only win on tour despite fishing more than 100 events and 4 Classics during his career. To win this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, you’ll have to answer the following 4 questions about the winner.

  1. Like many angling professionals at the time, Roger had a “real” job. What was it?
  2. Roger’s father always carried a couple items for good luck, and Roger had both in his pocket while fishing the Megabucks event. What were his lucky items?
  3. The $101,000 payday included three major items; $63,000 in cash and a new Ranger bass boat were typical of the times, and two of the three winning prizes. What unique item comprised the third leg of the payout?
  4. Finally, despite the win, everything wasn’t smooth sailing for Roger during the course of the final 2 days. What event befell Roger and threatened to derail his attempt at winning?

Answers and winner will be announced on Thursday. Good luck!

Answers:

  1. Like several other professional anglers who started out in the trades (for ex., Denny Brauer – brick layer), Roger was a roofing contractor.
  2. Roger’s father passed away just a couple months before the event while Roger was away competing in another Florida tourney. His father always carried a buckeye and a bent nail for good luck, so Roger had those two items with him during the event.
  3. Beside the Ranger bass boat and the $63,000 in cash (actually, an annuity over 10 years), Roger won a Z-28 IROC Camaro. While this might seem unusual, anybody remember the IROC Racing Series that was very popular in the 1980s? Same car…
  4. According to a local Florida newspaper reporting on Roger’s win, “Given the novelty, it was no surprise when Farmer looked up to discover tournament director Harold Sharp’s boat bearing down on him early in the first day to advise him he’d missed a mark and was fishing the wrong hole in Lake Harris, and had been doing so for 20 minutes. But who could have expected Farmer to respond by volunteering the information that while there, he’d caught two nice bass. “Then you’ll have to throw them back,” Sharp said. This Farmer did, tossing five pounds of bass and his hopes for victory overboard. “I ’bout had a heart attack,” Farmer admitted that evening.”