IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

TikTok tried its hand at HQ-style trivia. Some users were not impressed.

On social media, some people complained about the game's host. Others expressed disappointment about winnings that totaled less than $6.
tiktok logo illustration
TikTok wrapped up its five-day trivia marathon Sunday.NBC News

What event took place on TikTok last week and got mixed reviews from users?

The answer: TikTok Trivia.

The five-day trivia marathon, which was heavily promoted by a widget on users' For You pages, wrapped up Sunday. The game, which was presented by Lionsgate and "John Wick: Chapter 4," gave users the chance to answer a series of questions and win prize money from a $500,000 fund. It was open to anyone 18 years or older in the U.S.

Although some online said they enjoyed the dayslong event, others complained that the host rambled for too long. Some expressed disappointment at the prize money.

“It was the worst thing ever. TikTok, never do it again,” a TikTok user said in a video.

Many users’ videos also complained about the For You page widget advertising the event.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the complaints. A spokesperson for Lionsgate did not immediately provide comment.

TikTok’s trivia push appeared to be an attempt to revitalize the phenomenon that was HQ Trivia. The live smartphone trivia game show became a cultural phenomenon in 2017, with people invested in it and its host, Scott Rogowsky, who became a sensation for his comedic delivery and quirky energy.

TikTok tapped the social media personality James Henry to host its trivia. Henry, who his known for his comedy videos, has 4.2 million followers on the platform.

But Henry’s delivery became a subject of discussion on the app and on other social media platforms.

“I tried TikTok trivia... Didn’t win anything but was held prisoner while being forced to learn the host’s ENTIRE life story including anecdotes about twister and his favorite periodic element,” a user tweeted.

Another wrote, "tiktok trivia is fun but this man is no scott ragowski :’("

Representatives for Henry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nick Gallo, who led the creative team at HQ Trivia, called TikTok's attempt at trivia a "disaster."

In a series of tweets analyzing the game, Gallo rooted his criticism in the idea that a host needs to be more than a social media personality with lots of followers.

“I can guarantee you that TikTok did not run a casting call,” he wrote. “Nothing against the host personally, but it’s important to work with talent who thrive in this environment and not just look at follower count when determining if they’re the right fit.”

Hosts should be involved in the creative side and also run dozens of rehearsals to prepare when things go wrong, he said.

"The show took 9 minutes to ask the first question — nearly double the amount of time we would allot for HQ to get started," he wrote.

Ultimately, Gallo said, he felt "the content fell flat — the host kept speaking in circles about instructions, rules and power-ups."

Others who tried their hands at trivia seemed less enthusiastic about the prize money.

While the total prize pool was $500,000, some expressed disappointed when it actually came time to divide the pot. Winners in one round — 5,289 of them — took home $5.62 apiece after winnings were divided.

Some players said they encountered an incorrect answer in another round. For a question about the second-largest city in South Africa, the trivia app claimed the correct answer was Durban. However, the correct answer is Cape Town. (Cape Town is larger than Durban in both landmass and population.)

"Yeah, that TikTok Trivia crap is a scam," a user said in a video.

In an email sent to NBC News on Tuesday, a spokesperson for TikTok clarified it used website Statista for its answer to that question, citing the website's reasoning for Durban being the second largest city.

"In 2022, the largest city in South Africa was Cape Town. The capital of Western Cape counted 3.4 million inhabitants, whereas South Africa’s second largest city was Durban (eThekwini Municipality), with 3.1 million inhabitants. Note that when observing the number of inhabitants by municipality, Johannesburg is counted as largest city/municipality of South Africa," Statista reads.

The spokesperson did not comment on the online response to the game.

Gallo was optimistic that such a large platform as TikTok was trying to delve into trivia.

"It’s really great to see such a large cultural force like TikTok explore creating a live interactive experience, excited to see where the team goes from here," Gallo wrote in his Twitter thread.

Some users were also pleased to win some money.

"Twas a good tiktok trivia weekend," a user wrote, sharing a screenshot of $130.54 and $106.72 in earnings.