The newest sensation to the app store: HQ Trivia

Juniors Clay Webb and Harley Watkins watching HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky explain the rules of the game.

Juniors Clay Webb and Harley Watkins watching HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky explain the rules of the game.

Adam Kelly, Assistant Editor

In December 2009, Rovio Entertainment released “Angry Birds” for iOS devices. Following its release, the application built an empire and created a brand that would be recognizable anywhere. From clothing lines to its own movie, “Angry Birds” became a sensation that set the popularity of mobile games in motion. Currently, instead of flinging furious-faced birds at buildings made by pigs, everyone is answering trivia questions hoping to win money.  

Everyone that owns a mobile device knows that there are applications pre-installed on their device, and new ones can be downloaded from the app store. The phenomenon behind their popularity comes from games that you can play on your phone. If people are talking about an application on their phone, it’s probably a game.

Popular apps like Clash of Clans and Pokémon Go come and go, but people continue to come back to the ‘store’ to download the next game everyone’s playing. The newest addition to the list of trending apps is HQ Trivia, which was released in late October 2017.

This game is different from previous mainstream apps, though. People may be walking around with their heads buried in their phones, but it will only be around 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. As stated in its name, HQ Trivia is a live trivia game with a mobile game show setup.

There are no advertisements or in-game currency inside the application. All you have to do is sign up and you’re ready to play. The game is available to play at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. every day.

Before the game begins, a countdown appears before a host appears on your phone screen to welcome you and explain how the game works to new players. Scott Rogowsky is a fan favorite who enjoys inserting as many puns into his script as he can.

The game is simple. The host reads 12 questions, which start easy and increase in difficulty the further you get. If you answer all 12 questions right, you split a cash prize with anyone else who also made it to the end.

When HQ Trivia was released, winners would split $2,000, but since then, it has increased to $2,500. Occasionally, the cash prize goes up to $15,000 on Sundays. This raises your chances of earning even more money, but there are three additional questions to answer.

The first few questions will cause you to roll your eyes as the answer is glaringly obvious, but if you continue to answer questions right, the questions become more random and you may end up guessing, hoping to move on to the next round.

Since there are no advertisements in the game and people receive cash prizes every day, many people have asked how the company that created HQ Trivia makes money. Some have speculated they earn revenue from sponsors for the application, but there is catch to the game confirming how they receive funds.

This constraint was recently removed, but previously, people had to earn up to $20 in prize money before they could cash it. And like depositing a check, they had 90 days to cash the money before it expired. As of last week though, players can now cash the $4.32 they won after splitting it with hundreds of other winners.

Since its release, HQ Trivia has had over 1.5 million players online to play. What makes it so popular is the urge to get as far as you can in the game and hopefully win money, because there is no punishment for getting a question wrong.

That being said, the game has its flaws. It constantly lags because of the number of people playing at one time, and sometimes the answers for the question will not appear on the screen, which causes thousands of players to be eliminated. These issues can be frustrating, but people continue to come back to the game in the hopes of getting all 12 questions right.

When the game will lose its popularity is something to think about, since there will always be people online wanting to win money. In the next coming months, though, expect over a million people to be online, all at once, ready to answer more questions.

HQ Trivia is available for download in the App Store and Google Play Store.