The 15th season of GBH’s beloved High School Quiz Show, the state's award-winning academic competition, is about to begin, and no doubt will have surprises and unexpected drama. Each year, the program showcases the knowledge, talents, and skills of students from across the Commonwealth in this highly anticipated event.
Check out 10 fun facts you might not know about HSQS:
1. Over the 15 years, a total of 83 schools have participated in the show, with more than 6,000 students participating in the Super Sunday qualifying event.
2. The idea for the program emerged from a GBH hallway conversation between then-CEO Jon Abbott and Hillary Wells, who was producing Eye on Education, exploring the important issues in the state’s education system.
3. Comedian and actor Dhaya Lakshminarayanan was the first host, with Episode 1 airing on March 22, 2010.
4. Steve Carrell of The Office recorded the first celebrity question, which was shown in June 2010. Journalist Katie Couric, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, former New England Patriot Malcolm Mitchell and former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker among many others made recordings in subsequent years.
5. Longmeadow was the first HSQS champion.
6. More than 12,000 people have been part of the live audience since Season One.
7. In its first season, HSQS won a New England Emmy for Outstanding Education/Schools Program and won again in 2014.
8. Billy Costa’s first year as host: Season Two, 2011.
9. Season Three culminated with a special local celebrity bonanza, with contestants such as WCVB-TV’s Susan Wornick, Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney, Matt Siegel of KISS 108, Flour bakery founder Joanne Chang and Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart.
10. In 2017, Maine Public became the first HSQS licensee and continues to this day.
Learn more about HSQS here.