Who has won the most University Challenge series? (Picture: BBC)
University Challenge is famous for its mind-bogglingly difficult questions, and occasionally amusing answers.
Often, we’ll breathe a sigh of relief if we make it to the end credits having known (or guessed) just one answer correctly.
It’s almost miraculous, then, to think that teams of the best and brightest quizzers could win the Jeremy Paxman-hosted quiz show more than once.
But, indeed, there are several universities that have won on more than one occasion – and two that tie for the top spot.
So, which universities are they, and when did they win?
Which university has won the most on University Challenge?
Both Manchester University and Magdalen College, Oxford, have won the show four times each, a fact the Oxford Mail proudly documented in this handy chart of winners.
Manchester’s most recent win was in 2013, with previous victories in the 2006, 2009 and 2012 series.
Interestingly, Manchester’s 2009 win was the result of the original winners, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, getting disqualified.
A press release post-filming revealed that one of Corpus Christi’s team members wasn’t eligible to compete – as they weren’t properly registered at the university.
In their statement released at the time, BBC and Granada said: ‘The University Challenge rules on student eligibility are that students taking part must be registered at their university or college for the duration of the recording of the series.
‘Whilst obviously not intending to, Corpus Christi broke this important rule where other universities and colleges taking part adhered to it… This means they forfeit their hard-fought title which now goes to the Manchester University team.’
Oxford University’s Magdalen College have a longer history in beating the BBC’s toughest test of knowledge – winning in 1997, 1998, 2004 and 2011.
Just shy of the overall wins title are Imperial College London and Trinity College, Cambridge – as they’ve each won three times.
Imperial College London only recently achieved this feat, securing their third triumph during the 2020 series.
Meanwhile, Warwick University, Keble College, Oxford and Durham University have an impressive two wins each under the belts.
As do University College, Oxford, The Open University, Sussex University and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
Warwick are the current champions – beating out Cambridge University’s Magdalene College (not to be confused with Oxford’s Magdalen College).
Better still, they didn’t lose a single match on their way to the top.