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HQ Trivia currently has one main host, comedian Scott Rogowsky, but Intermedia Labs is also rotating in guest hosts.


Screenshots by Jason Parker/CNET

The game HQ Trivia (currently only for iOS) has been exploding in popularity since its debut in the beginning of September. Here’s why: It’s a live streaming trivia game you can play on your iPhone that kicks off every day at 3 p.m. EST and again at 9 p.m. EST, where if you answer all the questions correctly, you can win real money.

HQ Trivia was developed by Intermedia Labs, the creators of the now defunct 6-second video app Vine. But instead of short-form video, HQ Trivia is a twice-a-day (once-a-day on weekends) live stream that lasts roughly 15 minutes. 

Here’s how it works: You log in as the game is about to kick off, and after a short intro from the live hosts, you’ll get your first of 12 trivia questions, with three multiple choice answers for each. You have 10 seconds to make your choice before the game locks up and the answer is revealed. That’s long enough to answer but not long enough to cheat with Google. If you answer a question wrong, you’re eliminated and can watch the rest of the show without participating. But if you answer all 12 questions correctly, you’ll split the prize pool with all the other contestants who made it through. 

The prize pools are currently set to $500 on weekdays, and I’ve seen as much as $1,500 on weekends. During Friday’s game it was announced the prize pool would be $5,000 this Sunday. The pools will likely continue to go up as more people start playing the game, and from my experience so far, this game hasn’t nearly reached its peak.

Trivia HQ came on the scene in early September and didn’t catch on right away. I’ve been playing for only the last week, and I’ve noticed an incredible bump in contestants (the count is shown in the upper left part of the screen as you play). Last week, I played and saw roughly 29,000 players playing along with me. Last night I logged in and there were close to 45,000 players. This game is definitely catching on.    

Questions start off easy but get much harder as the game goes on. Yes, that middle answer is wrong -- they actually all released albums.

Questions start off easy but get much harder as the game goes on. Yes, that middle answer is wrong — they actually all released albums.


Screenshots by Jon Kim/CNET

There’s no telling how popular HQ Trivia will get, but now’s the time to jump in to see how long the fun ride lasts.

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