13 HQ Trivia Questions People Always Get Wrong
In the world of the wildly popular trivia app, HQ trivia, savage questions—those impossible ones that wipe out the majority of players in one fell swoop—can literally mean "game over." These are the trickiest, most elusive questions to date—oh, the HQ-manity!
Question: The Asian delicacy known as bird’s nest soup is made primarily from what?
On the first Sunday in March 2018, HQ Trivia offered an unusually high jackpot—$50,000—perhaps to lure players away from the Academy Awards telecast. It worked: more than 2 million people showed up, but by question three, only 265,000 folks were still playing the game. The culprit: an epic trick question. Even though the first three questions in the game are always ridiculously easy, “birds’ nests” seemed a bit too obvious. The question remains the most notorious HQ fail to date.
Correct Answer: Birds’ nests
Lucky for you, this geography 101 quiz is (slightly) easier.
Question: Which famous math equation remains unsolved?
Sundays are special days for HQ Trivia—the game poses 15 questions instead of 12, and the prize is 10 times higher than usual at $25,000. Super Bowl Sunday was no exception—well, except that it presented the trickiest question to date. During the penultimate question, only 85 players correctly guessed that German mathematician Bernhard Riemann’s hypothesis about prime numbers is the one that remains unsolved. Great minds have been noodling that one since 1859.
Correct answer: Riemann Hypothesis
Hankering for more? See if you can pass this elementary school math test.
Question: According to the U.S. government, which of these is correct?
Spring forward, fall behind, and say it wrong every time. One of the most commonly misspelled/mispronounced proper nouns in the English language was also the answer to a question that wiped out a vast majority of HQ Trivia players, leaving a fraction remaining. It turns out that in March and November we’re actually saving daylight by moving our clocks forward and backward—but 585,000 people lost out by choosing “Daylight Savings” instead.
Correct answer: Daylight Saving Time
Want to know more? Start with these 70 words and phrases almost everyone gets wrong.
Question: Which one of these symbols appears on the dice in Milton Bradley’s Jumanji board game?
Less than 6 percent of players got this one right, with most opting for the more obvious answers: safari hat and rhinoceros. In this game, the racquet is one of several weapons pictured on the eight-sided die; in Jumanji land, you use tennis-style racquets to swat away bats and giant mosquitoes. If you’ve never played, this one would have boiled down to a guess—and when in doubt, a common HQ strategy includes picking the least likely answer.
Correct answer: Racquet
Question: Before creating Hotmail, the two founders worked together at what company?
Only 33 players—about 7 percent—knew that Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith both worked at Apple Computer (no, they weren’t Apple store geniuses) before founding the popular email service together in 1996. The votes were a pretty even split between two other technology companies: Microsoft and the much older Hewlett-Packard.
Correct answer: Apple
Question: What was the first successfully cloned animal?
The famous Dolly the sheep was indeed the first mammal cloned, in 1996, to much fanfare. So it’s understandable that the vast majority of players chose her in this penultimate question. But more than 100 years before, in 1885, a sea urchin became the first animal to be successfully duplicated. A scientist named Hans Adolf Edward Driesch was responsible for this incredible feat, which he repeated a few times for good measure.
Correct answer: Sea urchin
Question: Which of these is NOT a city in Venezuela?
HQ’s December 13, 2017, game was one of the few times a single winner nabbed the jackpot. One of the tough questions that the lucky player answered correctly was the fourth, which stumped players by listing Barcelona as one of the options. Most people recognized it as a famous city in Spain, but Barcelona is also the name of a Venezuelan city. About 92 percent of players said “adios” on this question.
Correct answer: Santa Marta
You’ll also want to brush up on the 30 geography facts everyone keeps getting wrong.
Question: Which of these dogs falls into the American Kennel Club’s “Working Group”?
The second of two back-to-back savage questions, this one tripped up almost 80,000 players, leaving just under 8,000 in the game. The other options, Golden retriever and Collie, seem like the more obvious choices (we’re looking at you, Lassie), but only Boxers were bred to guard property and work alongside their human companions. Of the three choices, the A.K.C. only recognizes Boxers as members of the Working Group.
Correct Answer: Boxer
Question: Which one of these is NOT one of the first Starburst flavors?
A world without cherry Starburst®—arguably the most beloved flavor? The original flavors were strawberry, lemon, orange, and lime when the candies debuted in 1960 as OPAL FRUITS® in England. In 1967, the sweets made their way over the pond and eventually, the company replaced the lime Fruit Chews with cherry. This bit of trivia escaped the vast majority of players on February 15.
Could you be a genius? This Mensa quiz will tell you.
Question: What is the official currency of China?
On the same day as the great cherry Starburst® debacle, during the second HQ Trivia game of the day, more than 785,000 players were eliminated in one fell swoop. When they got to this question, they thought China’s official currency was the yen (that’s Japan) or the Chinese dollar (that’s made up). In fact, “yuan”—pretty close to “yen”—is the name of a unit of China’s currency, which is actually called the renminbi.
Question: The phrase “cul-de-sac” literally translates to what?
Typically, the first three questions in HQ are a piece of cake, but the stakes were higher on February 25—the jackpot was $25,000. Players definitely did not have this #3 query in the bag. Almost 1.2 million players were eliminated for not knowing that “cul-de-sac” translates to “bottom of a sack” in Latin—the Latin word for “bottom” being culus.
Correct answer: Bottom of the bag
Question: Which one of these was NOT one of the canonical wonders of the ancient world?
Not to be confused with the Seven Wonders of the World, the Seven Canonical Wonders of the Ancient World include a lighthouse (the Lighthouse of Alexandria) and a mausoleum (the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus)—but not a library. A whopping 20,000 players lost their lives on this tricky question.
Correct answer: Library
Want to test yourself? Check out these trivia questions only geniuses will get right.
Question: Which one of these Robin Williams’ movies was based on a novel?
We doubt you knew this, but Mrs. Doubtfire, the madcap comedy starring Robin Williams, was actually based on the 1987 book Madame Doubtfire. The beloved children’s tome is not necessarily what you think of when you hear the term “novel,” which is probably why only about a tenth of HQ players knew this one.
Correct answer: Mrs. Doubtfire
Now that you’ve (hopefully) aced these questions, can you solve the 25 toughest riddles ever?