FOMFers research their way to the top

Celine Yang, Scot Scoop Editor

They’ve done it again. Again, and again.  

The Carlmont Friends of Millard Fillmore (FOMF) team won by one point over Castilleja High School in the 47th Annual FOMF Hunt, bringing home the trophy for the third consecutive year. 

This trivia hunt is famous for its unique nature. Students have one weekend to find answers to a series of random questions, and are faced with the task of bringing in evidence to prove their answers, whether it be copies of books, physical evidence, or photos.

FOMF President and senior Jasmine Davidson said, “It’s always amazing to me how many people come together to complete the task of answering as many questions as possible.”

This year, FOMF’s winning strategy was a lot of preparation — a meticulously-organized leadership team, meetings held every week leading up to the hunt, and recruiting efforts. Presentations, the use of social media, a theme song, and extra credit from many history teachers all served to attract potential members.

 unior and FOMF Vice President Kyle Jung created a meme of President Millard Fillmore, who the hunt is named after, in order to appeal to students. The meme was shared by many members and previous FOMFers on Facebook.
Kyle Jung
Junior and FOMF Vice President Kyle Jung created a meme of President Millard Fillmore, who the hunt is named after. The meme was shared by many members on Facebook to encourage and recruit new members.

With the team looking to add another win to their two-year record, the school continued to support their efforts.

During the competition, the Carlmont library and two classrooms stayed open after-hours, stocked with platters of food. These fueled the students, who faced questions such as bringing in an original Star Wars ticket stub from a 1970s movie showing, an original newspaper clipping of the last Peanuts comic, and a picture of a team member in a Google self-driving car.

And these were just three questions out of the 26, which often had multiple sections in each question.

However, three days of working to find answers at school wasn’t sufficient.

The solution was the infamous overnighter.

Members from the FOMF leadership team grouped in a house on Saturday night and worked in the cold, huddled around a picnic table with computers and bowls of snacks.

FOMF Vice-President Kyle Jung said, “I was really tired, and the leaders only got about one hour of sleep on average. But I do it because I enjoy being with the leaders and working together as one team to solve some really weird and difficult trivia questions.”

When the time for adjudication came, both Carlmont and Gunn High School were prepared to defend their answers. Lawyers whipped out rules and presented their answers, and members were on standby to pass proofs to the team sitting before the panel of judges.

Despite the fact that FOMF remains at danger with fewer schools participating, many students aim to keep FOMF alive.

Sophomore and participant Jenna Williamson said, “FOMF is special. Plan A doesn’t always work for FOMF, and usually the first book with an ample proof isn’t available to obtain. This lets FOMFers get creative by looking for alternate options.”

In the end, Carlmont pulled through with countless hours of research and ingenuity. Despite the win, many simply love FOMF.

Davidson said, “FOMF is a giant research trivia hunt, which sounds super nerdy. And I guess it is, but it’s so much more than that.”