HQ is a real-time trivia app where you answer a set of trivia questions to win real money. They stream a couple different contests per day.
It’s pretty wild – a real person asks real questions in real-time (basically a livestream) and real people (you, me, anyone) have a chance to answer. If you get all twelve questions right, you win part of the pot. I’ve seen pots range from $2,500 all the way up to $1,000,000. If you answer any question wrong, you’re done. You can keep watching to see what other questions you may know, but you can’t win any money. You can earn extra lives in various ways – the most common way is inviting others to join the app. An extra life allows you to get an answer wrong but keep playing for money.
I first learned about HQ on New Year’s Eve (2017 going into 2018). We had gotten home from our NYE party around 9:30p so our young kids could get to bed. My wife and I were sitting on the couch, fighting sleep, waiting for midnight, when she pulled up HQ (I’m the tech nerd, but she’s always on top of the latest app trends).
I saw what I thought was a video recording of a guy dressed in a suit telling everyone to get ready to answer some questions for a million bucks. I half ignored it until my wife said that if we get all 12 answers right, we could win a million bucks. I somewhat perked up at that point but I still figured it was just some gimmick, which I suppose it is. However, when she explained that it was all happening in real-time, the nerd in me really perked up.
I found it to be pretty wild to think that there was this dude somewhere in New York in a studio or something, talking to a camera, asking questions, and millions of people around the world were all watching at the same time, answering the questions on their phone, all within this app.
You might say, “Uh, live video on your phone is nothing new.” Well, you have a point, but I find it pretty cool that you’re not just watching video, but the app interface is changing in real-time, in sync with the video, giving you multiple choice options to answer the questions that are being asked at that moment. It just seems like quite the technical feat. The other cool thing is that you get immediate feedback, not only whether or not you got it right (that’s the easy part), but they tell you everyone that got it right and wrong, immediately.
I hate to admit it when my wife finds something cool that I didn’t know about, but I gave in and grabbed the app for myself. I don’t play a ton because it sounds silly to say, but it’s a decent time commitment, and the payouts aren’t huge because you don’t get the full pot – you split it with all the winners. When there are millions of people playing there can be a lot of winners, meaning payouts may only be $50 or so. It’s still fun though!
All in all, I’m super intrigued by the concept and, based on the buzz, expect to see a lot more real-time, interactive apps in the near future – even if it’s brands copying HQ’s concept on a smaller scale for their followers.
Note: If you want to know how we did on NYE, I’m sad to say we did not win. We made it through about 5 questions before getting one wrong.