HQ tweeted that over 680,000 users played Sunday evening's game, easily a new all-time record, while the in-game counter showed over 700,000 players were connected at various points of the roughly 15 minute show. That's more than twice as many players as some HQ games drew just last week.
SMASHED the record for players tonight with over 2/3 of a MILLION #HQties! From 680,000+ down to 107 in 12 questions. Congrats to all!— HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) December 18, 2017
For those of you who are just learning about HQ as you read this article, it is a free-to-play live trivia game show—sort of like Jeopardy—in which players attempt to answer a series of 12 questions correctly to win a cash prize. To reduce cheating, players have less than 10 seconds to answer each question.
The app launched on iPhone in September, with an Android version promised by Christmas Day. HQ attracted an audience in the lower thousands during its earliest days, with prizes starting at around $100, but the game has become an absolute viral sensation and now pulls around 300,000 to 400,000 or more players every game.
As the game's popularity has grown, so have the prizes. 107 winners split a prize of $10,000 on Sunday—that's roughly $93 each—and HQ even gave away $10,000 twice in one night earlier this month. Once players have won at least $20, they can cash out their U.S. dollar winnings via PayPal.
Unfortunately, as it has ballooned in size, HQ has experienced several technical difficulties. The most common issue is lag, but there are sometimes bigger problems. Saturday night's game initially saw no correct answers displayed, for example, resulting in the show being delayed by about 45 minutes.
HQ games take place every day at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and there's an extra game at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays. The shows are usually hosted by comedian Scott Rogowsky, with occasional guest hosts ranging from electronic music artist Dillon Francis to on-air personality Sharon Carpenter.
While it remains to be seen if HQ will be able to maintain its popularity over the long term, it might be the fastest growing thing that isn't named Bitcoin right now. If you haven't yet joined in the fun, download the app from the App Store now and opt into notifications to be alerted when a new game starts.