Jay Flynn, from Darwen, Lancashire, created a live, online quiz to boost the spirits of those in his community missing their local pub.
However, it has since broken a Guinness World Record for the most viewers of a quiz YouTube live stream after more than 180,000 people took part.
The ‘Virtual Pub Quiz’ has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity, including more than £160,000 for NHS Charities Together and more than £150,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Flynn was the recipient of a Points of Light award, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been awarding each day to individuals making a difference in their communities.
Johnson wrote to the former publican and said: “On behalf of the whole country, and thousands of your participants stretching right across the globe, thank you for lifting our spirits at this time. And I wish you – and everyone taking part online – another fantastic Virtual Pub Quiz tonight.”
Flynn said the quiz had begun as a “local quiz for local people” but reached many more than expected after a Facebook post went viral.
He added: “I am honoured to receive this award.”
The award has been active since 2014 but is now focusing on the members of the public helping others to cope in the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the amazing £200k raised during Thursday night's @TheVirtualPubQ1, @stephenfry has a message and some exciting news! Who's joining us next Friday for #JaysVirtualPubQuiz?— AlzheimersResearchUK (@AlzResearchUK) May 17, 2020
If you're able to donate, please visit https://t.co/fV2k9S9Kpo. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/DMTpuU2MR0
The quiz has even featured celebrity guests including Stephen Fry and Gary Barlow.
Publicans across the country have been boosting the morale of their communities with weekly virtual quizzes, raising funds for causes close to their punters’ hearts.