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State trivia: 20 fun facts Minnesotans should know

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Here are 20 trivia questions about our great state – how many can you get right? Oh, you know, just fer fun! (Answers below.)

1. How many lakes does Minnesota really have?

2. How many lakes are named "Mud Lake?"

3. What U.S. fashion craze started in a Roseville, Minnesota, gym in 1988?

4. Which Minnesota State Fair Food contains the most calories?

5. Which president gave one of his most famous speeches at the Minnesota State Fair?

6. How many Legos have been lost in the Lego play area at the Mall of America?

7. Which of Minnesota's 67 state parks is the most visited?

8. Hollywood star Ryan Gosling is among the celebrities (along with generations of miners, farmers and factory workers) who have been spotted wearing what brand of Minnesota-made shoes?

9. In 1924, what Minnesota radio station presented the new brand Betty Crocker on daytime radio’s first cooking show? (Hint: It's still on the air.)

10. On what Minnesota lake was water skiing invented in 1922?

11. What's the real birthplace of Garrison Keillor, famous for his fictional hometown of Lake Woebegon, Minnesota?

12. What two NFL teams have made the most trips to the Super Bowl without a win?

13. What Minnesota locale is generally considered the site of the nation's first intercollegiate basketball game?

14. What disco hit song was about the Minnesota band's desire to leave Minneapolis for New York City?

15. In what town was a leading U.S. bus company launched 100 years ago?

16. In 1988, Twin Cities-based Northwest Airlines was the first major airline to ban what?

17. What toy, considered one of the greatest of all time, was developed in the 1940s by a small garden-implement business and named after a Minnesota lake?

18. One-hundred million pounds of what Minnesota-made lunch meat were shipped to Allied troops during World War II?

19. True or false: Minnesota contains more miles of shoreline than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.

20. Who was the first woman to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Congress?


1. Famed for 10,000 lakes, the state actually has 15,291 that are larger than 10 acres (Minnesota Historical Society)

2. 201. There are also 154 "Long Lakes," and 123 "Rice Lakes" in the state. (Sen. Amy Klobuchar's office)

3. Zubaz pants. (Zubaz, Star Tribune)

4. Fried candy bars. (Minnesota State Fair)

5. Teddy Roosevelt, "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick," 1901. (Minnesota State Fair)

6. 170,000 and counting. (Mall of America)

7. Fort Snelling – 959,859 annual visitors
Gooseberry Falls – 598,889
Itasca – 512,352
Interstate - 307,729
Split Rock Lighthouse – 304,576 (Minnesota DNR)

8. Red Wing Boots. (Buzzfeed, Red Wing Boots)

9. The Washburn Crosby Company, forerunner of General Mills, took over the financially troubled WLAG and renamed it WCCO. (WCCO, Betty Crocker)

10. Lake Pepin, by Ralph Samuelson, a fisherman who convinced his brother to pull him behind a motorboat while he stood on two 8-foot pine boards. (From the book "A Daredevil & Two Boards")

11. Anoka, Minnesota. (Prairie Home Companion)

12. The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills have both been to four Super Bowls without a win (the Vikings lost Super Bowls in 1970, 1974, 1975 and 1977). (NFL)

13. Hamline University played the School of Agriculture, which was connected with the University of Minnesota, on Feb. 9, 1895. Hamline lost the game by a score of 9-3. (Hamline University)

14. Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown." (City Pages)

15. Hibbing. In 1914, Swedish immigrant Carl Eric Wickman began taking miners from Hibbing, Minnesota, to Alice, Minnesota, for 15 cents a ride. THe service eventually turned into the Greyhound bus company. (Greyhound)

16. Smoking. (New York Times)

17. Tonka trucks, named for Lake Minnetonka. (Time)

18. Spam. (Hormel).

19. True. Although one blogger says it's only true if you consider rivers and streams. (Minnesota History Center)

20. The plainspoken accordion-playing Norwegian immigrant's daughter Coya Knutson was elected in 1954 and served two terms. She lost the 1958 election in part because her vindictive husband distributed a "Coya Come Home" letter to the media, which was widely reported. (New York Times, MPR)

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