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Panel Questions

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Helen Hong, Negin Farsad and Josh Gondelman. And here again is your host, whose new hobby is challenging himself to a thumb war, Peter Sagal.



Thank you so much, Bill. In just a minute, Bill demands his own special game. What a rhyme-adonna (ph). It's the Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, though, some more questions for you from this week's news. Negin, a couple is facing lots of criticism on social media after it was revealed that they waitlisted people for what?

NEGIN FARSAD: Oh, it's - is it, like, an event?

SAGAL: Yes, it was specifically an event, yes, a particular kind of event.

FARSAD: Oh, their wedding.

SAGAL: Yes, their wedding.


SAGAL: The couple's invitation - which, of course, went viral when someone took a photograph of it. It assigned everyone to different groups - A, B or C. And it said, quote, "Group A, please RSVP as soon as possible. Group B, watch our website to see if we have space available. Group C, if no one from Group A or B can make it, we'll let you know," end quote.


SAGAL: Yeah. Now...

HONG: What a pompous couple.

SAGAL: Now, wait a minute. Before you leap to judge, it's a problem that everybody's got, you know? You've got friends who you really want to come and other friends you'd like to come if your better friends can't make it, you know? Grandma Trudy - she's in A. Rachel, who only brings Oreos in a Ziploc to game night - she's B. But you don't tell people what group they're in. That's why there are no greeting cards in the Hallmark aisle that say, to my 51st best friend.

FARSAD: Wait. So they let everybody know what category they were in?



HONG: Wow. That is...

JOSH GONDELMAN: I respect it.

SAGAL: You do?

HONG: You do?

GONDELMAN: I do. I think that's a baller move. Let people know where they stand.


SAGAL: Right. I mean, isn't it better if you're, like, a B or C person to, like, be told that right up front rather than getting a call the week before the wedding? Hey, you want to come to our wedding next week?

GONDELMAN: Yeah, 'cause everyone that gets married does that.

SAGAL: Yeah.

GONDELMAN: They just don't have the chutzpah to come right out and tell everyone where they stand.

SAGAL: That's the thing. I mean, I don't know why these people are being punished for their frankness and honesty.

HONG: Wow.

FARSAD: Well, I mean, this really begs the question. Like, is the wedding going to be fun when there's such a high degree of honesty in the invitation? Because I can then also picture this couple being, like, Ron, Cheryl, get off the dance floor. Those moves are not working. You know what I mean?

GONDELMAN: But I think...

FARSAD: Like, they're just too frank.

SAGAL: They're very judgy.

GONDELMAN: I think you get to be honest right back, right? That speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace section of the wedding is going to be on fire.

SAGAL: Oh, absolutely.


GONDELMAN: There's going to be a line just...

SAGAL: If anyone has any reason this union should not - oh, please make a line going down the aisle.


SAGAL: We have two microphones, one on each side.


SAGAL: Please limit your comments to two minutes.


HONG: Good point.

GONDELMAN: Starting with - have you seen the invitations? These people are monsters.


SAGAL: Anyway, Helen, last month, a man in Wisconsin won $22 million in the Powerball lottery, but he gave up half his winnings. Why?

HONG: He was going through a nasty divorce?


HONG: Can I have a hint?

SAGAL: Yeah, well, it was a pinkie swear.

HONG: Oh, he promised to split it with his kid, a little kid.

SAGAL: Not his kid. You're close. It was a little kid, but he was a little kid, too. He promised his childhood...

HONG: Oh, wait. His childhood best friend.

SAGAL: When they were both kids, they promised each other...


SAGAL: ...That if one of them ever grew up and won the lottery, they would split it. And 30 years later...

HONG: Stop it.

SAGAL: ...The guy held up his end of the bargain.


HONG: Oh, my God. I have so many pinkie swears that I want to unswear to right now.

SAGAL: Yeah, it's a problem.

HONG: (Laughter).

FARSAD: Oh, it's so cute.

GONDELMAN: I'm so sorry, and I know this is NPR, but the only response to that is [expletive].


SAGAL: You moron.

HONG: Wait. Was he friends with the best friend still, the childhood friend still?

SAGAL: Yeah. This is what happened. So he and his - well, they were very young. I don't know how young. And they said, hey, man. If we - if one of us ever wins the lottery, we will give the other half, right? So 30 years go by, and the guy wins the lottery. He wins $22 million.

HONG: And they're still friends?

SAGAL: And he calls up his friend and says, listen, man. I won the lottery, and I'm giving you half. And his friend replied - and I quote, "are you jerking my bobber?" - unquote.

HONG: (Laughter) What?

GONDELMAN: You can't take $11 million from a friend. He's never going to stop mentioning that, right? Like, sometimes, I'll owe a friend, like, 50 bucks, and that'll keep coming up. But if - bringing me $11 million, I'd be like, hey, do you want to drive to the concert? He'll be like, well, I have 11 million reasons why you're going to drive.


MICHAEL W SMITH: (Singing) And friends are friends forever if the Lord's the Lord of them. And a friend will not say never 'cause the welcome will not end. Though it's hard to let you... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.