CQ teacher quits job to host pub trivia full-time

THEY CALL ME DR. M: 'Quizologist' Mitchell McAulay-Powell (centre) at the Harvey Road Tavern on Thursday night.
THEY CALL ME DR. M: 'Quizologist' Mitchell McAulay-Powell (centre) at the Harvey Road Tavern on Thursday night. Andrew Thorpe

MITCHELL McAulay-Powell seems like the kind of guy who has all the answers.

The 29-year-old is living the dream: quitting his nine-to-five to make a living doing what he loves.

Mitchell left his teaching job at the Capricornia School of Distance Education in Rockhampton midway through the year to focus on running his trivia business, Dr M's Quizology Services.

He now runs trivia nights full-time at pubs and clubs all across central Queensland, from Emerald to Gladstone.

Adopting the moniker 'Dr. M', he lets people know he is a professional quizologist.

"I realised that the study of trivia is spermology, and I couldn't be a spermologist for obvious reasons. So I had to quickly make up a new name," he said.

"I used to do it for beer money, but then someone said to me 'You should make this into a business'.

"I was a little bit scared at the beginning but now... I've got no regrets.

"I just love seeing people happy and engaged and getting off their phones. I could never get sick of it!"

Mitchell started the business about a year ago, but said strong word of mouth has helped business really pick up over the last six months.

He has expanded his Gladstone trivia nights from Thursdays at the Harvey Road Tavern to also include Tuesday nights at Lightbox and the Club Hotel.

He's also looking to bring trivia to central Queensland's rural areas.

"I grew up on a farm, I get what it's like living in small towns and I want to give people a chance to get out and about and meet each other," he said.

"It's fun because everyone bonds, and everyone stays a little bit afterwards.

"The other day I was having a chat to some pubs in Biloela... to try and bring trivia out there."

It takes Mitchell about two hours to put each quiz together, because rather than relying on a simple question and answer format, he also throws visual gags, play-on-word puzzles, celebrity face mash-ups, and music rounds into the mix.

He's also added retro console gaming nights to his repertoire - and his plans for the future don't stop there.

Plans to bring speed dating to Gladstone are in their final stages.

"It's similar (to trivia) in that it's about not making people feel uncomfortable," he said.

"And I've noticed that bizarrely Gladstone has a very big single community!

"We're slowly branching out because the places are demanding it."

Mitchell said expanding the scope of the business - and hiring hosts to run his trivia nights when he can't be in two places at once - was necessary to keep it financially viable.

"I'm doing great as a sole trader but eventually in about a year's time I'll have to make it into a company," he said.

"My accountant told me at one point 'You can't rely on yourself to do everything!'"

Dr. M's Quizology Services hosts trivia nights at the Harvey Road Tavern on Thursday nights from 7pm, Lightbox on Tuesday nights from 6.30pm and The Club Hotel on Tuesday nights at 7pm.

Dr. M's favourite trivia question: How many of each animal did Moses bring aboard the ark?

Answer: None. It was Noah. Stop hearing what you want to hear, people.

Topics:  dr m's quizology services gladstone nightlife mitchell mcaulay-powell

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