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For What It's Worth: An 'Antiques Roadshow' Quiz
January 1, 2012  | By Tom Brinkmoeller

Antiques Roadshow begins its 16th PBS season Monday, Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings). Two reasons to be happy about this. It's a series that fascinates millions weekly, and has thrived over these many years on the air -- and it's not a concept that was born on NBC, generally the kiss of shlock when it comes to unscripted programming...


(If the latter had been the case, the series would not have lasted a single season, and the phrase "You've got to be kidding!" never would have migrated from the political arena.)

The series works, in part, because hardly any changes in the winning formula have taken place over the years.

Throngs of people show up, hoping to be told they possess a hidden treasure. Appraisers who appear to be genuinely kind and interested people walk each Roadshow attendee through the good or bad news. The most interesting of all the appraisals that take place in each city are the ones that fill the air. When so many eager people show up, and each program is just one hour long, the phrase "shooting fish in a barrel" seems appropriate.

Part of the fun each season is seeing which appraisals make it onto the programs. How unusual is each object? What is it worth (or is it worthless)? What's the reaction of the owner?

Since the fun is in the watching, it shouldn't spoil any of it to offer the following quiz, designed to appraise an ARS fan's instincts.

1.) The highest-appraised item in the coming season is:

a) An original Norman Rockwell painting

b) The bronzed baby shoes of twin furniture experts Leigh and Leslie Keno

c) Chinese-carved cups made from rhinoceros horn

d) President George W Bush's baseball card collection

e) A tapestry created by Dolley Madison for her husband's inauguration

2.) A celebrity ticket holder who shows up for an appraisal is:

a) Jeopardy's Alex Trebeck, who brought a collection of Merv Griffin artifacts

b) Former pro wrestler and Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who asked for an appraisal of a set of china that once graced the governor's mansion

c) Jay Leno, who brought in several rare hood ornaments, collected along with his many classic cars

d) Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and former NFL MVP Alan Page, who brought in a Civil War-era item with connections to Abraham Lincoln

e) Baseball legend Pete Rose, whose collection of Ty Cobb memorabilia filled a steamship trunk

3.) The oldest ticket-holder to attend this year's tour of cities is:

a) A 100-year-old woman who brought an only slightly older pottery piece to the Pittsburgh stop on the tour

b) "Two-thousand-year-old-man" Mel Books, who brought Carl Reiner in to see how much he's still worth

c) The recently unearthed jaw of a Neanderthal man, whose nickname among the anthropologists who found him is Pete Moss

d) David Bianculli's cat named Bane

e) Wilford Brimley, who is even older than he looks

4.) A truly memorable but odd event that happened on the six-city tour is:

a) A man in Eugene, Ore., disappointed that what he thought was his bottle of a rare-vintage wine turned out to be a relabeled bottle of Boone's Farm, opened the bottle and guzzled the whole thing on camera

b) A Tulsa, Okla., woman who had broken open a mechanical bank to retrieve a rare coin inside found out the bank she had destroyed would have been worth three times the coin she recovered

c) Overcome by thoughts of "richer or poorer," a marriage proposal was offered and accepted while a couple in El Paso were waiting to get into the auditorium

d) What was at first thought to be a musket from the Revolutionary War turned out to be a piñata found in an abandoned building in Pittsburgh that once housed a Chi-Chi's restaurant

e) In Atlanta, a man who claimed to have a copy of the secret Coke recipe was discovered to be a Pepsi interloper when the lead ingredient was listed as "sludge from the nearest cesspool"

5.) The most requests for tickets this year comes when the tour stops in:

a) Florida, where the U.S. Supreme Court finally had to decide the number discrepancy

b) Minneapolis, where nearly two people asked for every one ticket that was available

c) Los Angeles, where people trying to escape from the screening of the pilot for an NBC sitcom offered sizable bribes in the hope of accomplishing said escape

d) Illinois, where tickets were offered as incentives to up the bidding for the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama

e) Iowa, where an early campaigning Rick Perry made sure he was going to finish first in something

Answers (as if this were really necessary):

1.) c.
The rhino mugs won the race with an appraisal of up to $1.5 million (there was a Rockwell painting later in the tour, but its value was a measly half-million).

2.) d.
Alan Page is the answer here; had it been Trebek, we would have had to phrase this answer in the form of a question.

3.) a.
The 100-year-old woman is the correct answer, though she was 97 at the time she got in line.

4.) c.
Cupid's arrow landed on the El Paso couple who became engaged while queueing up for an appraisal that would later show the arrow used by Cupid is a relic from the battle of Little Bighorn.

5.) b.
Minneapolis won the honors for most ticket requests -- and all involved deny that the 35,582 requesters did so because they weren't able to get tickets to A Prairie Home Companion in neighboring St. Paul, due to strict border-crossing regulations by the St. Paul Police.

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