Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery or the big jackpot at the casino? Did you know every day, hundreds of thousands of people across the world, play trivia on their phones and tablets and win money? It's called HQ Trivia, and it's one of the most fun and exciting apps I have ever downloaded.
It almost sounds too good to be true, but HQ Trivia is a free live trivia game show where you can actually win real money. Whether you're brand new to HQ Trivia or you have been playing from the beginning, here's everything you need to know in order to play and win some cold hard cash!
How to play
HQ Trivia goes live twice a day on weekdays (3 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET) and usually just once each day on the weekend (9 p.m. ET). When it's time to play, you just have to launch the HQ Trivia app and you'll be greeted by some text and music as you wait in the lobby for the game to start.
Once the game starts, the host of that game (they change hosts pretty often) will come on your screen and start talking. Usually, they crack a few jokes, explain the rules very briefly, and then start asking you (and the hundreds of thousands other people) questions.
The question along with the three potential answers will pop up on your screen, tap on the answer you want to choose, and if you get it right you move on to the next question. If you answer all of the questions correctly you will win money!
Over the course of about 15 minutes, the host will ask 12 different questions. Of course, the first question is usually quite easy, but as you progress through each round, the trivia will become more difficult.
HQ is typically general trivia, meaning the questions will touch on a plethora of different subjects like entertainment, world news, sports, history, geography, and more. On occasion, HQ will choose a theme. For example, on New Year's Eve, they asked a lot of questions about the history of New Year's Eve traditions.
You must be quick
You have to answer the questions pretty quickly to not be eliminated from the round. You only have 10 seconds from the time the host starts reading the questions to tap the answer you want to choose. Usually, by the time the question is written out on your screen and all three answers are in front of you, you will only have about four or five seconds to tap your answer — be quick on your feet!
If you don't know an answer — take a guess! With only three options to every question, you have a 33% chance of getting it right and moving on to the next question. Just like an exam, it's never in your best interest to leave a question blank!
One strike and you're out
As soon as you get one question wrong or don't answer within the time limit, you are out of the game. You can keep watching the rest of the game if you wish but will be unable to answer any more questions.
Although HQ Trivia can be ruthless, there is a little saving grace with extra lives. If you have an extra life and you get a question wrong, you can still continue in the game.
As of right now, you can't choose when to use the extra life; it will happen automatically. Plus, even if you have multiple extra lives, you can only use one per game.
You gain extra lives by inviting people to play the app. When they sign up, all they have to do is put in your HQ Trivia username. The first time they log on to play HQ, an extra life will be awarded to you.
When you win
If you're smart or lucky enough to win HQ Trivia, congratulations, you will be awarded some cash! Each game will have a pot of money that is up for grabs, and all players who answer all twelve question correctly split the pot evenly.
Some games can get over a million active players, meaning you will almost always be splitting the pot with multiple people.
When you win, the money is put in your HQ account, and once you have $20 or more, you can transfer it to a PayPal account. This does mean to collect money you do need to have a PayPal account, so keep that in mind.
Head over to our HQ Trivia: FAQ page for answers to a lot of popular questions!
Have you won HQ Trivia yet?
I managed to get to the final question, question 12, once. I was so close to victory, but I failed when the moment of truth came. How have you been doing? What's the further you have made it in HQ Trivia? I want to know!
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.