A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Hey HQties!

“Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, let’s get this show on the road. Qumero numero uno:”


We all know what it is, and if you don’t, you’re a little behind. It’s HQ Trivia. The trivia game show on your phone where you have the chance to win real money. HQ is great; it’s fast, it’s fun, it’s competitive, and above all else, it’s money.

HQ blew up in popularity around November, and it’s been captivating millennials ever since. Through 12 multiple choice questions ranging from easy to impossible, everyone that logs in has a chance at that daily jackpot of $2,000. You all already knew that, though.

What’s hard about HQ is that it is literally impossible. I’ve been playing for almost three months and I have yet to get beyond Q10, and I’m proud of that. The early questions are stupid easy, but when you reach around Q4, you’re hit with a wave of incredibly niche trivia that the remaining eight questions move the game from trivia to guessing. It’s probably because I’m young, but I find the television show questions particularly taxing; who knows “Which show did NOT feature a former NFL star?” Ehh..

If you’re looking for cheap tricks on how to beat HQ, I’m not the guy. But I’ve gotten pretty far, and that’s not because I know anything about the questions that are being asked. I’ve found the more people you play with, the farther you’ll get. On slow nights at The Writing Center, us tutors will dim the lights and huddle around one central phone as if we’re worshiping it. It’s a sprint through the first four questions, but then we’re hit with a question pertaining to some crazy root of some whack Latin word. Everyone’s dumbfounded, but then Olivia, the latin scholar of the bunch, pulls through with “rubrification means to paint something red!” For some reason, everyone has their own memory of some minute detail that usually pertains to a question, so it’s always best to group up.

If 3pm rolls around and you don’t have plans to go to tutorial, it’s also a good idea to recruit some teachers. Mr. Sohn and Ms. Echko are hardened veterans at trivia, and they’ll always pull through with some sage-like knowledge that us youngsters would’ve never known.

Even though I’m an extremely cynical person, I still feel there is some hope to win HQ. It’s only 12 questions and three answer choices; what are the odds? .000188%.