- HQ Trivia is a a free app, available for iPhone and Android, that hosts a daily live game show for real cash prizes.
- During a recent special event hosted on the app, twelve lucky HQ players won more than $US20,000.
- One of those winners was Peter Manley, a father from Vermont who hasn’t worked for years due to his poor health.
- He says he isn’t going to buy anything “too fancy,” because the money helped put his financially struggling family back on track.
“There was a lot of yelling and screaming,” Peter Manley said, describing the night he won more than $US20,000 on HQ Trivia, a popular smartphone app that hosts a live trivia game show with real cash prizes. “I was in the kind of shock where you stand up and look around ‘cuz you can’t believe it. You lose your breath and just start screaming!”
Normally, HQ Trivia requires users to answer 12 questions perfectly for the chance to split a prize pool that starts at $US5,000. HQ itself is a red-hot app, said to be valued at $US100 million at its last round of funding in February.
On the day Manley won, it was a special event at HQ, sponsored by the movie “Ready Player One” – HQ players would have to answer 15 questions, instead, to split a whopping $US250,000 pool.
When the game’s host, Scott Rogowsky, called 5 minutes after the big win, Manley almost didn’t pick up the phone. He normally doesn’t answer calls from unknown phone numbers, he said. Rogowsky congratulated Manley and his family and asked them how they planned to spend the money.
“It’s a non-glamorous answer, really,” Manley said, describing the conversation to Business Insider about a week following the win. “It’s going to stay in the bank. We’ll buy food and fuel, and that’s it.”
In an interview with Business Insider, Manley explained that his family has had a rough few years before HQ came into their lives, and the money couldn’t have come at a better time. Both he and his wife of 21 years, Margaret, have serious health issues that prevent them from working. He has struggled a rare, genetic disorder that causes a high risk of thyroid cancer, and a laundry list of related health complications. Margaret suffered a spinal injury a few years ago, and the family’s finances haven’t been the same since.
“We almost lost our house…Christmases were rough, because we really can’t get gifts anymore,” Manley said. The financial troubles were compounded with recent losses of loved ones, including Margaret’s father and a young family friend, who died of an opioid overdose. Manley says it’s all too common in their community, a small town in Central Vermont.
“If you don’t get this one right, I’ll never talk to you again,” Manley’s daughter Paige told him that night, as she watched him play. The two had been kicked out of the living room by Manley’s wife Margaret, who was trying to watch an episode of Rachel Maddow in peace. It was a weeknight, after all.
The question was about ’80s music and Paige’s father, Peter Manley, had been a music buff for a long time-he had a collection of every top 40s jam since 1958. His poor health had prevented him from working for many years, so music provided a great hobby and creative outlet, especially now that his two children are grown.
The final, winning question was about Patrick Swayze’s famous line from “Dirty Dancing:” After he says “nobody puts Baby in a corner,” what’s the next line?
Manley had never seen the movie.
Still, the game only provides three possible answers, so he guessed. That guess helped him became one of 12 winners-out of 2.3 million original contestants-to split the $US250,000 pot. (The correct answer, by the way, was “Come on.”)
“Winning this money, it’s emotional – it’s tied up with our health. Just to have a cushion is a big relief…and to know good things can still happen to us,” Manley joked. “We’ve always said we have lots of luck, it’s just usually bad luck.”
Manley admitted that he’s been considering one little splurge: Treating himself to a new stereo. He says he couldn’t afford to replace his old one when it broke.
“But that’s it,” he swears. “We’re just so happy to be all right.”
Just yesterday on HQ Trivia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hosted the show to promote his new movie, “Rampage,” as players competed for the largest pot yet: $US300,000.
Here’s a video of the game on March 28th, the night that Pete won:
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