Have you heard of HQ, the app which has stolen loved ones away from you in the last few weeks?
No? Okay let me explain. HQ is a trivia app for mobile which runs twice a day, at 3pm and 9pm. Sounds pretty simple, but the genius behind this app is the cheery (if a little cheesy) host who runs the show. For the British, it’s English journalist Sharon Carpenter, affectionately known as ‘Shazza’. Shazza is charismatic and smiley, giving shoutouts to people in the live chat as the game goes on, perfect for an app which will ultimately leave you feeling stupid.
The format of the app is as follows, 12 questions each with three possible answers and 10 google-proof seconds to answer them in. Get them all right and you win a certain amount of the jackpot, depending on the amount of winners. A username is also required, but unfortunately ‘Quiz all over me’ was already taken.
The jackpot is usually £750 but on special occasions such as the Sunday night games, the jackpot can go all the way up to £10,000. Tasty indeed.
How HQ make their money is uncertain but its almost certainly to do with advertisers paying for certain questions such as “What industry is the company Apple involved in?” for instance.
Although, how they make their money isn’t overly interesting though, how you win some of that sweet money is of more concern so let me try and help you.
The best tactic is probably eliminating the answer you know it isn’t and then taking a punt on one of the others, undoubtedly a little luck is involved in winning as the variety of topics is so wide which previous winner Anthony Lee admits.
“I guessed the last three questions correctly which was a bit of a miracle, I’m not normally lucky and now I’m £13.46 richer!”
Unfortunately, my first experience was short-lived, alas question three was my undoing, how am I meant to know that Gustav Mozart isn’t a famous composer but Franz Mozart and Wolfgang Mozart are?
The game’s viewing figures have rocketed recently with average players at 50,000 at the start of question one. That figure is vastly reduced by the end, after people have been knocked out by ‘savage’ questions.
What’s a savage question? These are dastardly questions which appear easy on the surface but usually have an answer which is surprising to most. An example: Who did Michael Jackson name in a song title on the album “Bad”?
C) Billie Jean
Being the MJ fanboy that I am I knew it was Diana, the dirty minx. However, most of my fellow quiz companions immediately clicked the well-known Billie Jean and met their quizzing fate, of the 19,000 odd players left, only 5,398 went through. I was one of the lucky ones.
This, is where the genius of HQ lies, in its ‘savage’ questions, these questions whittle down the remaining players quickly and ensure that the jackpot is usually won by a maximum of 25 players, meaning a fairly nice sum of Wonga for each player.
The success of the app is no surprise, its creators, Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov created the video behemoth Vine and sold the platform to Twitter in excess of £20m in 2012. The pair know a thing or two about engaging a young audience.
The app is slowly becoming a craze and critics are already claiming that it could be the final nail in the coffin of the traditional British pub quiz.
Or you could argue, it’s just a quiz.