State Capital Quiz


You get 3 tries for each state.  If you don’t know the answer click “Tell me” and the answer will be given, but you get no points.  With 3 wrong guesses, the answer will be given with no points.

After typing the answer, you can either press [Enter] or click “Next”.


  • A correct answer properly capitalized, spaced and punctuated (i.e.  St. Louis or San Francisco) earns 4 points on the first try.
  • An otherwise correct answer (i.e.  memphis, lasvegas, or St Croix) earns 3 points on the first try.
  • Each incorrect answer subtracts 1 point.
    • A properly cased answer on second try is 3 points.
    • A properly cased answer on third try is 2 points.
    • An improperly cased answer on second try is 2 points.
    • An improperly cased answer on third try is 1 point.


In March of 1998, my daughter Jennifer was 9 and interested in geography.  She asked me if I knew the state capitals and I told the truth:  “I know some of them.” Her response was, “I guess you’d have to be pretty smart to know all of them, huh?” and I assured her that she could do it.

Being a programmer, I thought I could write a little program to quiz her.  To make it interesting, I downloaded some images of state flags and added some colors and sounds and a scoring system.  In no time, we both knew all the state capitals!

Then in April of 2010, a couple of years after my grown daughter moved out to strike out in the world (and hopefully, not “strike out” in the world), a very nice little girl named Abby came to work with her father and surprised me by giving me a home-made card, apparently just because she’s a sweet little girl.

During her visit, I let her borrow my globe so she could study the planet.  I asked her what she’d found and offered a couple of suggestions.  The topic turned to state capitals and I bragged, “I know all the state capitals!  Just ask me!” She asked a few and fortunately I knew the ones she asked, but I wondered if I’d forgotten any.  The next day I went to dig up my 12-year-old code and it occurred to me that I could convert it to a web page without too much effort and I could share it with everyone.  (Of course I haven’t “googled” to see how many are already out there!)

After completing the code, I took the test 3 times before I got them all.  The first time, I missed 9, and then I missed 2 before I got them all.

So here it is...  not terribly fancy, but functional...  and I’d like to dedicate it to my daughter, Jennifer Olsa, and to Abby Wright.

Good luck!

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