This student won £1,333 on HQ Trivia and she’s let us in on her secrets
Some people say that it's impossible to win at HQ Trivia – but one student has proved the doubters wrong in a big way.
NOTE: This article was first published in May 2018. Sadly, in February 2020, HQ Trivia was shut down.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you'll be aware of a little app called HQ Trivia. And, if you've played it even once, you'll know just how hard it is to get to the final round – let alone win it.
But one student has proven that not only is it possible to reach the latter stages, but it's possible to win the game too – and win BIG.
Clodagh Marston, a second-year student at the University of Nottingham, recently became a member of the most exclusive club going – HQ winners – and has taken the time to tell us how she won, what she'll spend her winnings on, and how mere mortals like you and I can win HQ, too.
What is HQ Trivia?
Before we find out how Clodagh managed to achieve the impossible dream, allow us to quickly explain HQ Trivia to anyone who hasn't yet come across the app.
As the name suggests, HQ Trivia is a quiz app. It's free to play, available on both Android and iPhone, and every day there are live quizzes that thousands (and sometimes millions) of users take part in.
But unlike other quiz apps that you may have come across in the past, HQ gives away REAL cash prizes to anyone who wins.
It sounds simple enough, but in order to win the game you have to correctly answer 12 multiple-choice questions in a row – questions which start simple, but quickly descend into the kind of quizzing that would even leave the Eggheads stumped.
Thanks to the often impossible nature of the questions, each game usually only ends up with 10 or 20 winners – despite over 100,000 people taking part.
How did Clodagh win HQ Trivia?
In the standard UK HQ Trivia games, the jackpot was £1,000. Usually there are multiple winners, so the prize fund is split evenly between each of the successful contestants.
In other words, if you ever win, you can expect to earn £50-100 for your troubles. Not bad for 10 minutes of your time, eh?
However, Clodagh's performance of a lifetime came during one of HQ's Sunday Roast specials, where the prize fund was a whopping £8,000. As one of just six winners, Clodagh took home an incredible £1,333 for conquering the quiz.
So, is Clodagh the next Richard from Pointless, or was she just incredibly lucky?
I definitely didn't know all of the answers! I'd say I guessed at least nine of them and I used an extra life too.
I'm usually rubbish at quizzes - my general knowledge is so poor, so it was just pure luck that I won!
When we're playing HQ we often try to Google the answers (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so successfully) – did Clodagh use the internet to her full advantage too?
Sometimes we try and Google the answers but usually they're too specific so we don't end up bothering!
Hey, so it is possible to fluke your way past the savage sausage questions and secure the win!
So which little nugget of knowledge (or, more accurately, which lucky guess) helped Clodagh bag £1,333?
The final question was something about someone winning three awards, and the answer was William Wyler. I'm not completely sure now!
What's Clodagh doing now that she's won HQ Trivia?
It's hard to imagine what life would be like after winning such a massive amount on HQ. We kind of imagine that you'd just give up quizzing for good and retire at the top of your game, a bit like Sir Alex Ferguson.
As the biggest HQ winner we've ever come across, we had to ask Clodagh whether she's still one of the HQties, or whether she's given it up for good.
I have to say I play less frequently now than I did before I won, but I still take a designated break from revision at 3 for HQ!
Nice to see that Clodagh is keeping it real and not letting the wealth go to her head. Speaking of which, what is she planning to spend her winnings on?
I booked a holiday with my boyfriend to celebrate the end of exams, but I'm still unsure about what to do with the rest!
Consider us jealous. So how can the rest of us reach the podium places of HQ Trivia?
For new HQties, I can only say keep playing - I played 60 games before I won, so you've just got to keep at it!
Sound advice! And a great excuse to keep taking a break from writing an essay to tune in and get quizzing.
Of course, we couldn't let our interview with Clodagh pass by without asking her the most important question of all: who is her favourite HQ host?!
My favourite HQ host is 100% Sharon aka Shazza – she makes HQ!
HQ Trivia UK may be no more, but our guide to the best paid survey sites is full of ways to earn from the comfort of your own home.