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April 4, 2018 / Jett

I won $7.01 in HQ Trivia. This is my story.


For the past few months, I have been an avid HQ-tie. Whether I’m playing with coworkers during the 3PM show or playing the 9PM show with my wife, I’m usually on my phone, answering these trivia questions until I inevitably get one wrong and am eliminated from the game. It seems like answering 12 multiple choice questions would be simple enough, but as my 100+ losses have proven, this is certainly not the case.

However, April 3, 2018 was not such a day. Somehow, some way, I ascended to the top of the mountain and won a game of HQ Trivia.

Having lost so many times before, I’ve become very pessimistic about the whole thing. While I enjoy watch the host Scott Rogowsky work his magic, I always have the sense of the guillotine hanging over my head by the time I get to question 5. I’m usually out by then, though there have been the odd occasions where I’ve reached question 9 or 10 before ultimately bowing out. As bitter as I could have been, it wasn’t really that bad, as I’m usually making wild guesses by the time the questions jump in difficulty anyway.

At work, I always say jokingly that, “Today is the day, right?” before we inevitably lose. This time, there was no one to say that to, as my partners in crime were in a meeting. Didn’t think much of it, put my headphones on and began to play the game.

By the time it reached question 7 or 8, I had found it odd that there hadn’t been a “Savage Question”. In layman’s terms, a “Savage Question” is one where the majority of players gets it wrong. While the savagery came late, it certainly lived up to its name. Asking players which of the contiguous 48 states reaches farthest north, over 100,000 out of 122,000 players got it wrong.

Being a Toronto Raptors basketball fan paid dividends here. As a backlash to their #wethenorth hashtag, haters have made a point to call out the fact that Minnesota is actually further north than Toronto. I clicked that answer with confidence and watched the field get dramatically smaller.

As I continued to correctly answer these questions, I would quietly fist-pump at my desk. Out of the corner of my eye, my coworker messages me through our chat software.

“wtf are you watching? lol”

I let him know and take the headphones off so that he can hear the quiz with me.

One of the final questions really took me for a loop. Asking players what Michael Jackson turned into at the end of the film Moonwalker, I took a wild guess, as I truly had no idea what his transformation is. Thank goodness my wild guess was right.

As I reach the final question, a number of my coworkers, including my main HQ Trivia buddy, walk in. I tell him that I’m on the final question and before you know it, the whole office is surrounding me.

I don’t have an image or a write-up of the final question, but it was about two songs, one written by Paul McCartney, and one written by John Lennon, that both share the same name. The answers were “Woman”, “Imagine”, and another title I can’t remember. Though I did not know the answer for certain, something in my gut said it had to be “Woman”. Scott’s pre-amble leading to the answer felt like it went on for a million years as I anxiously awaited for the result while my eyes were covered by my hands.

Then just like that, my answer was highlighted in green and I had won! My office mates cheered and I felt more relieved than excited. When it came out that I had won a whopping $7.01, I boldly proclaimed that I would share my winnings with them by buying the office a round of Tim Horton’s Tim Bits (donut holes). $7.01 US might not actually be enough to cover the cost, but damn it, we’re celebrating anyway.

And that’s my story. Yes, there was some wild guessing involved. No, I did not leverage any sort of cheating tools. Yes, the $7.01 is long gone. The money may be spent, but the title of one-time HQ Trivia champion will be mine forever. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled program of losing.

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