4 Apps That Pay You Money to Play Games

According to a Nielsen Report in July of 2018, American adults spend more than 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media. That's roughly 65 percent of the average adult's waking minutes. Heck, if you're reading this article, you're looking at a screen. If we are spending this much time on screens anyway, shouldn't we be generating income from it?

Enter these four apps, game-driven profit generators that pay you for your time on devices. Community-pooling trivia apps became dinner table conversation in 2018 with the industry driver HQ, but money-making platforms have been around much longer. While they may not make you a millionaire, these options can put a few extra bucks in your pockets.  

Long Game

Prize money: Up to $1 Million

Best for: Savvy savers

What it does: Long Gamea new app for iPhones and Android smartphones, uses games and milestones to encourage personal savings and investments. Link your bank account to participate in the auto-saving program, squirreling away money into a rainy day or "trip to Paris" fund. Fun mini-games earn you coins, and the more you save, the more chances you earn to play. Bonus: You can translate your profits into BitCoin and Ether, a new crypto option for gaming. 


Prize money: $1.2 Million awarded every six months 

Best for: Smart cookies 

What it does: The cultural phenomenon that hit its peak on New Year's Eve of 2018, HQ is a trivia game from Intermedia Labs that has prize pots up to a whopping $400,000. The hitch? You must correctly answer a series of obscure multiple-choice questions in ten seconds flat. No time for googling or phoning a friend. The catch is that you must split the prize money with whoever else was a smart cookie. Often, this leaves winners with a mere dollar or two in their account. Or, like the above winner, a measly $11. Our style editor Trey Taylor offers this quote: "I did HQ when it was trending before the guy OD’ed," and I think that about sums it up. 

Out of Tune

Prize money: Pools from $2,500

Best for: Music buffs

What it does: Very similar in structure to HQ, Out of Tune tests users' music knowledge, asking you to identify 12 songs. If a player does so correctly, they win a cash prize. But there is one caveat: The game can only be played on Sundays through Thursdays at 8pm ET and 11pm ET. The prize buckets are similar to HQ's, but you only have a few seconds to correctly identify the tune. It is important to note that 50 percent of the show’s current audience is 24-years-old or younger, and another 25 percent fall into the 25 to 34-year-old-demographic according to Variety. So count your dad's vast knowledge of 50s music out.

Swagbucks Answer

Prize money: $328M to date

Best for: The guy who likes answering questions about himself

What it does: Swagbucks, perhaps the OG app that offers gift cards for answering surveys, shopping or watching videos, launched Swagbucks Answer, its version of a trivia quiz show. Simply respond to fun surveys and rake in the cash. The average payout for one survey ranges from $1 to $5, but when bundled, you can generate a healthy profit for simply killing time. The Swagbucks empire touts the largest member payout number to date, totaling roughly $328M. Earning even a small percentage of that number would be major, so it's worth a shot, right?

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