Contest rules

Following are the official CultureQuest® XXIX rules, including information on player eligibility, entry fees, contest procedures, and more.

CultureQuest registration is closed.


A team may consist of up to five primary players, and up to two alternates.

Team members need not be from the same Mensa Local Group, but any prize money awarded will be paid to the group designated on the registration form. A team may designate up to two alternate players, but no more than five team members may participate in the actual competition. One of the pre-designated alternates may substitute for a primary team member who is unable to compete; however, no substitution may be made once the competition has begun.

The national membership rosters as of April 1, 2018 will be used to determine eligibility of each team member. An ineligible team member will be removed from the team and will not be eligible to play. If an ineligible team member plays, this will disqualify the whole team. Teams cannot replace team members after March 31, 2018.

CultureQuest: Classic is open to all members regardless of age. Each team member must be a dues-paid Mensa member (U.S. or Canada) for the 2018-19 membership year and must be renewed before April 1, 2018.

CultureQuest: The Next Generation is the Youth Division. All persons playing on a Next Generation team must have been born on or after May 1, 2000. Only the Youth Division team captain must be a current Mensa member; Mensa membership is not necessary for a non-captained player.

Entry fees

The entry fee is $50 per U.S. team and $55 (U.S.) per Canadian team — payable at the time of registration.

Entry fees must be submitted with the team’s registration and must be received by 11:59 p.m., Central time, March 31, 2018. Late registrants will not be accepted.

Contest procedures

The envelope containing the test must not be opened until the contest starting time. Starting times will be staggered — 1 p.m. Pacific time, 2 p.m. Mountain time, 3 p.m. Central time, 4 p.m. Eastern time, and 5 p.m. Atlantic time — so all teams will take the test simultaneously. Teams from any other time zones will need to make special arrangements with the CQ XXIX Coordinator before April 1, 2018.

The specified time limit for taking the test must strictly be adhered to. All work, including recording of answers on the official test copy, must stop after 90 minutes. Answers may not be consolidated from other test copies after the time period is over. A team alternate may keep time, but participation by or assistance or recording of answers from any other than the five test-takers is prohibited and will disqualify the team’s entry.

No reference materials of any sort can be used or consulted during the quiz. All maps, charts, calculators, measuring devices, or other reference materials (with the exception of simple timekeeping devices) must be removed from the test site. If team members cannot agree on an answer, the team captain shall rule on which answer to submit.

After the contest

The Official Test and the Team Certification Statement must be sealed in the return envelope and mailed to the designated address via regular first-class mail. It must be postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Winners and prize money

Prizes will be awarded to the 20 teams with the highest scores for the Classic Division, and to the top team for the Next Generation Division. The dollar amount of the awards will be determined by the number of entrants. Winners will be announced at Annual Gathering 2018, in the Mensa Bulletin, and here on the website.

CultureQuest XXIX Deadlines

March 31: Entry fee and complete team roster must be received
April 13: Tests mailed to Team Captains
April 29: CultureQuest XXIX!
April 30: Tests must postmarked for return
May 25: Corrected tests and scores returned
June 8: Challenges must be received
June 15: Challenge rulings returned to teams
July 4-8: Winners announced at Annual Gathering