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Fun Florida Trivia

Staff Writer Eliot Kleinberg is the author of Florida Fun Facts. (Some answers are supplemented with Palm Beach Post archives.)

Eliot Kleinberg

Fun Florida Q&A

Question: What is Florida's most populous county?

Answer: Miami-Dade County has 2.44 million people, Broward 1.75 million, Palm Beach 1.29 million, and Hillsborough 1.16 million, according to 2006 University of Florida estimates.

Question: What's Florida's least populated county?

Answer: VTiny Liberty County, west of Tallahassee, has 7,772 residents, according to 2006 University of Florida estimates.

Question: What's the most densely populated county?

Answer: Pinellas. The peninsular county is home to St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and a host of suburban and beach resort towns and packs 3,315 people per square mile. The next closest county is Broward with 1,347.

Question: What's Florida's wealthiest county?

Answer:As of 2004, it's Palm Beach, with a per capita personal income of $44,518. Martin County was second with $44,452.

Question: What world-record-setting item did Lorenzo Amato cook and cut into 94,248 slices in October 1987?

Answer: A pizza. The pie - 100 feet, 1 inch in diameter - was consumed by 30,000 spectators in Havana, near Tallahassee. Amato's record lasted only three years; a pizza created in South Africa measured 122 feet across. The world's largest key lime pie, made at the South Seas Plantation resort on Captiva Island in September 1987, weighed 2,138 pounds.

Question: What does EPCOT, at Walt Disney World, stand for?

Answer: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The futuristic theme park opened in 1982.

Question: What sports industry around Ocala injects about $2.2 billion into the state?

Answer: About 85 percent of the state's thoroughbred farms are in Marion County.

Question: The international headquarters for what hamburger chain are in Miami-Dade County?

Answer: Burger King.

Question: What's Florida's biggest industry?

Answer: Tourism.

Question: What fraction of America's orange juice is supplied by Florida?

Answer: Florida supplies about 80 percent of the American demand for orange juice.

Question: What fraction of America's sugar is grown in Florida?

Answer: About one-quarter.

Question: For what item is Tampa's Ybor City famous?

Answer: At its height workers in Tampa's Ybor City made one million cigars a day. The industry is a fraction of its former size and much of Ybor City is now a tourist destination.

Question: How many cows are in Florida??

Answer: There are some two million cows, more than three quarters of them beef cows.

Question: Which famed Florida author lived longer?

Answer: Rawlings died in 1953 at 57. Hurston died in 1960 at 70. Douglas died in May 1998 at age 108.

Question: What gimmick did Lawton Chiles employ in 1970 while running for the U.S. Senate?

Answer: The obscure state senator from Lakeland walked across Florida to introduce himself to the people. It worked, leading to an 18-year term in Washington. He later came out of retirement and was elected governor in 1990. He died in office in 1998.

Question: What did Maryland doctor Samuel Mudd do that got him sentenced to life at the prison at Fort Jefferson, west of Key West?

Answer: Mudd was wrongly convicted of conspiracy in Lincoln's death. When the barren island fort in the Dry Tortugas was struck by yellow fever, Mudd was freed in order to save lives. He was later reprieved but grandson Richard D. Mudd spent his life unsuccessfully lobbying presidents to overturn the conviction.

Question: Florida is currently the nation's fourth most populous state. What was its population rank at the beginning of World War II?

Answer: It was 27th, with 1.9 million.

Question: Which space shuttle was the first to launch, on April 12, 1981?

Answer: Columbia, which would fly 28 missions in 22 years before it came apart on reentry on Feb. 1, 2003, killing seven astronauts aboard.

Question: What fraction of Floridians are natives?

Answer: According to the 2000 census, less than a third: 32.7 percent.

Question: How does the Everglades rank in size among national parks outside Alaska?

Answer: With 1.4 million acres, or 2,187 square miles, it's bigger than Delaware and is third among national parks in the lower 48 states, behind only Yellowstone, with 9,250 square miles and Death Valley with 5,219 square miles. Six parks in Alaska are bigger.

Question:What's the leading cause of death in Florida?

Answer: Cardiovascular diseases killed 38.7 percent of the 167,181 people who died in Florida in 2001. Cancer was second with 23.2 percent. No other causes come close; HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, killed 0.6 percent, homicide 1 percent.

Question: What's the most popular word found in Florida city names?

Answer: According to the state's official highway map, 52 towns or cities contain "beach." Second is "city" with 28, followed by "springs" with 24.

Question: Which county does NOT have a county seat of the same name?

Answer: The county seat is West Palm Beach, not Palm Beach.

Question: What Florida city was originally called "Cowford?"

Answer: It was named for a narrow spot on the St. Johns River where cattle could cross. The city was later named for president, and one-time Florida territorial governor Andrew Jackson - who never visited it.

Question: What Florida city was once called "hogtown?"

Answer: Gainesville, the home of the University of Florida, was once a center for pork production.

Question: Which town is furthest west?

Answer: Tallahassee. Because of the North America coastline's jog to the east, Florida is further west than it seems. Jacksonville is directly south of Cleveland, Ohio. Pensacola is directly south of Chicago. and Tallahassee is west of Pittsburgh.

Question: What percent of the road trip from Miami to Los Angeles is in Florida?

Answer: From Miami to Pensacola is about 700 miles, a fourth of the 2,700 mile trip to Los Angeles.

Question: What's the former name of Florida's Turnpike?

Answer: Sunshine State Parkway.

Question: How many counties does Florida have?

Answer: 67.

Question: For what film was "Beverly Hillbillies" star and University of Florida alumnus Buddy Ebsen briefly a cast member?

Answer: Ebsen was to be the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz" but had to pull out early in filming because the silver paint made him ill.

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