UCT staffer the brain of brains

31 March 2008

Champion: Assoc Prof Gillian Ainslie's sound general knowledge helped her to become the "Brain of Brains"

Associate Professor Gillian Ainslie entered the Radio 702/Radio 567 (Cape Talk) Brain of Brains competition just for fun, and thought she would likely be knocked out in the first round.

But a combination of sound general knowledge, the ability to hold her nerve and a bit of luck saw Ainslie become the 2008 winner of the competition, pocketing the princely sum of R41 000.

The month-long knockout event took the form of call-ins, web entries and recorded shows at selected shopping centres around Cape Town and Johannesburg, while the grand finale was a live broadcast from the Radio 567 studio in Cape Town, where she came up against the Radio 702 finalist from Johannesburg.

Ainslie, from the UCT Department of Medicine's Respiratory Clinic, entered both online and by phoning in, getting contrasting results. She was knocked out in the first round when she called, but was the best online performer.

From there, she won all her rounds to become the "Brain of Brains".

Ainslie, who reads a lot, recalls that there were tough questions throughout the competition and said the final was the toughest round, where the two finalists were still all square after three rounds. Ainslie finally won on the sudden-death question on which city was the capital of New Zealand before Wellington.(The answer's Auckland.)

"You've got to have a good and broad general knowledge - from sport to politics, geography to pop music and current affairs - to make it, and be quick at responding," says Ainslie.

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