Gabriela Bhaskar / The New York Times

Scott Rogowsky, the host of the late HQ Trivia app, will be hosting a virtual trivia night for Cornell.

October 7, 2020

Former HQ Host Scott Rogowski to Hold Cornell Trivia Night

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Trivia comes from your phone to your home as part of Wednesday’s Cornell University Programming Board event, a virtual trivia night hosted by former HQ host Scott Rogowski.

The event, modeled after the HQ daily trivia app, asks students to answer a bevy of Cornell-related questions as fast as they can — and there will be cash prizes.

HQ was a part-game show, part-video game where players have 10 seconds to answer increasingly difficult multiple-choice questions. Rogowski was its first, and longest-tenured, host, stepping down in April 2019 to become the lead anchor of the baseball-focused show ChangeUp.

The app was initially a huge success, boasting a peak of 2.38 million users in late March 2018, according to Techcrunch. In 2020, however, the company announced that it was shutting down after two years of declining usership.

Cornell students were a part of this phenomenon. During her first year at Cornell, Shay Sabir ’21 would join her Clara Dickson Hall floormates every Friday for months, trying to get the cash prize — anywhere from $250 to $50,000.

“We would all gather in the lounge and just answer the questions as fast we could and as accurately as we could to get the prize, but no one ever actually won,” Sabir said.

The students would pool their knowledge in an attempt to claim the reward, but even prodigious googling was not enough for them to beat the ten second timer.

“You never really knew, that’s why the more people you had, the more likely someone might have known this random fact to answer the question,” Sabir said. “Even if you tried, you wouldn’t be able to cheat.”

Ultimately, the HQ craze died off, and the first-years slowly logged off.

“It was a waste of time,” Sabir said. “Because I never won.”

This Wednesday may prove different for students hungry for Cornell trivia, starting at 8 p.m. The event is open to all students through Zoom, and will feature another night of general trivia on Thursday night also at 8 p.m.