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Student News

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 proved the doubters wrong in a big way.

hq logo and clodagh marston

Note: This article was written and published in 2018. The UK version of HQ Trivia has since shut down. If we hear that it's become available in the UK again, we'll update this guide.

Anyone who's ever played HQ Trivia will know just how hard it is to get to the final round – let alone win it. One student has proved that not only is it possible to reach the latter stages, but you can win the game too. And win BIG!

Clodagh Marston, at the time a second-year student at the University of Nottingham, became a member of the most exclusive club going – HQ winners. She took the time to tell us how she won, what she planned to 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 many other quiz apps, HQ gives REAL cash prizes to winners.

To win the game, you have to correctly answer 12 multiple-choice questions in a row. The questions 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 thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people taking part.

How did Clodagh win HQ Trivia?

clodagh marston

In the standard UK HQ Trivia games, the jackpot was £1,000. Usually, there were multiple winners, with the prize fund split evenly between each successful contestant.

In other words, if you won, you could expect to earn £50 – £100 for your troubles. Not bad for 10 minutes of your time.

However, Clodagh's performance of a lifetime came during one of HQ's Sunday Roast specials, where the prize fund was a huge £8,000. As one of just six winners, Clodagh took home an incredible £1,333 for conquering the quiz.

So, is Clodagh's general knowledge really off the charts, 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!

So it is possible to fluke your way past the savage questions and secure the win!

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!

TV game shows are another great way to win big money – we've ranked the best quiz shows to apply for.

What's Clodagh doing now that she's won HQ Trivia?

wolf of wall street throwing money

Credit: Paramount Pictures

It's hard to imagine what life would be like after winning such a massive amount on HQ.

As the biggest HQ winner we'd ever come across, we had to ask Clodagh whether she was still one of the HQties, or whether she'd 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 3pm for HQ!

Nice to see that Clodagh is keeping it real and not letting the wealth go to her head. Speaking of which, what did she plan 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!

Yes! Shazza!

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.

Tom Allingham

WRITTEN BY Tom Allingham

Tom joined Save the Student in 2017, initially heading up the editorial team before becoming Communications Director. He has appeared as a Student Finance expert on a range of TV and radio stations including the BBC, ITV and Sky, sharing his top tips for saving money and cutting student bills.
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