Are your friends taking breaks at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. every day to gather around an iPhone? They're probably playing HQ, a recent sensation on smartphones in which they play trivia for real money. The rules are simple, the host is personable and the lure of a real cash prize brings hundreds of thousands of people to the table.
Credit: HQ Trivia
Want to get up to speed? Here's what you need to know about HQ.
What is HQ Trivia?
HQ Trivia is a live trivia app that you play for real money. The game goes live at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST on weekdays and 9 p.m. EST on weekends. The game is hosted by comedian Scott Rogowsky, though he occasionally has substitutes, including British broadcast personality Sharon Carpenter.
What are the rules?
The game consists of 12 multiple choice trivia questions, ranging from easy to devastatingly hard (the latter have been labeled "savage questions" by the hosts). You have roughly ten seconds to answer each question, starting from when the host begins reading it. HQ's creators suggest this keeps the questions from being Google-able (I've found that they're right.) Everyone who completes all 12 questions split the jackpot. If no one wins, it carries over to the next game.
How much money can I win?
When the game debuted in August, jackpots were around $100, but they have since ballooned to regular games for $250 and now $1,000. Every once in a while, a game will go much higher, including a recent set for a grand prize of $8,000. Of course, if you win, you're likely splitting it with other winners. You can cash out with a PayPal account.
You mentioned iPhones. Is there an Android version?
Right now, HQ Trivia is only available on iOS. You can download it here. But it seems to be coming to Android soon. In a tweet, the company suggested that Android owners could see the game by time the holidays roll around.
How do I get extra lives?
While HQ used to hand out extra lives, now you seemingly only get them by referring friends. Give them your referral code, which is identical to your username. When they plug it in, you'll get a second chance in your next game.
What's with all of the memes?
HQ has a chat on the bottom, and boy is it active. I mean, it's really something else. If you find it annoying, you can swipe it away, but its also the breeding ground for a bunch of weirdness. Chat is where fans started calling Rogowsky "quiz daddy," and started continuously writing the phrases "dink fam" and "Fish Squad Worldwide," neither of which I understand.
There's also a lot of horror in the chat, too, with people writing derogatory statements about all types of minority groups, seemingly for no reason. Some people get banned, but that hasn't stopped the behavior.
What is The Q? Is it related?
You may have recently heard of a similar game, The Q, which has received some buzz. It's an HQ clone with fewer players (for now), far less charismatic hosts, poorer production values and a smaller prize pool (usually $500 or less). But it's on both iOS and Android, so it planted a flag on the trivia app landscape on Android before HQ did.