Here’s how to play HQ Trivia, the smartphone game from a red-hot startup rumored to be worth $100 million

  • Vine’s creators are behind HQ Trivia, a unique trivia-style app that around 60,000 people play twice a day.
  • HQ Trivia is run like a game show, with two live game sessions each day at 3pm ET and 6pm ET. Winners are allotted real cash prizes, and it’s free to participate.
  • The company behind the app is reportedly raising $15 million at a $100 million valuation from Peter Thiel’s VC firm, Founders Fund.

HQ Trivia is quickly becoming one of the most buzz-worthy gaming apps on the market: a trivia-styled, fast-paced mashup of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ and ‘Jeopardy’ for the internet age. On Friday, Recode reported that the company behind the app was raising $15 million at a $100 million valuation from Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund.

HQ Trivia doesn’t work like other gaming apps you might have played: it’s free to play, but hands out real cash prizes if you win. Another big difference from its competition is that you can’t play whenever you’d like: You can only play HQ Trivia twice a day, when the app streams a video with a live game show host who rattles off questions in real time against a swirling polka-dot background 

firstimageThe app sends push notifications when the game is about to start; everyday at 3 p.m. ET and 9 p.m ET. There’s a countdown, and then the round begins with a series of multiple-choice questions that draw from historical events, literary devices, celebrity knowledge, and more. The few times I played, I wasn’t able to get beyond the fifth question, but other players were luckier: one game divvied up $1,000 between 8 winners (that’s $125 per person), and the app’s co-founder, Rus Yusupov, has plans to up the ante. “I’d love to give away a million dollars someday,” Yusupov told Business Insider.

This isn’t Yusupov’s first foray into video apps ―  he was a key player in the development of Vine in 2012. One of Vine’s co-founders, Colin Kroll, also joined Yusupov’s venture into gaming, and Yusupov says the hype surrounding HQ Trivia is similar to the success Vine experienced early on. 

You’ll typically find about 60,000 players tuning into a single game on HQ Trivia, with varying cash prizes awarded. 

Here’s how HQ Trivia works:

All you’ll need to sign up for HQ Trivia is a unique username and your phone number. The app will prompt you to allow notifications when you sign up, which is recommended if you don’t want to miss out on future games.

Each day at 3pm ET and 9pm ET, there’s a notification and a countdown begins. Players can participate in the strolling chat at the bottom of the screen while they wait for the game to begin.

You’ll find the number of participants indicated in the upper left of the screen. When the game is about to start, the host welcomes the players Wheel of Fortune-style.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider