Trivia Streak” is an app game, based on classic trivia games, that has an incredible twist—prizes that winners secure can be either claimed OR donated to charities. “Trivia Streak” takes the classic multiple-choice trivia setup to new heights via a free app that builds a robust community of players who are interested in having fun, winning prizes, and hopefully aiding charitable causes.

“Trivia Streak” challenges players to earn coins by completing a group of twelve random questions.

If you get at least twelve correct, then you are promised a prize, however, if you get one wrong you are out. To keep shipping and prize costs reasonable, each player is only allowed limited opportunities to play per day.

“Trivia Streak” currently features more than one hundred prizes (mainly adorable stuffed toys), some live interactive shows, in-game boosters for anyone who successfully refers a friend, leaderboards, and more.

Available on both Google Play and the App Store, it is quickly gaining traction across the United States.

“Trivia Streak” was created by a startup indie game company known as HendoCheese. Headquartered in Boston, founder Henry Lee is interested in creating mobile games for the next generation—and this includes games with a cause more than simply having fun.

Henry Lee helms the company as its founder, owner, and CEO.

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A Chinese-American game designer, Henry was born in Boston and has been a proud “solopreneur” for over ten years. He regularly pursues online media and entertainment ventures, but his strongest interest is finding a way to “gamify” charity by developing games and/or entertainment that also builds fundraising communities. Henry describes himself as a people person who had worked thirteen different jobs before the age of twenty-one.

These diverse experiences helped him form a passion for games that bring people together.

Henry recently granted an exclusive interview on August 22, 2018, where he discussed Trivia Streak, his interest in games, his favorite cheeses, and his lovebird sidekick who pecks at everything in his vicinity.

The company, live events, and Play NYC

Meagan Meehan (MM): You claim that you held thirteen jobs before the age of 21, so what were they and why did you work so many?

Henry Lee (HL): They were fairly easy jobs in retail and data entry. I didn't stay for long at my jobs because I wasn't fond of routine work but found myself working again when finances got tight. Here are all thirteen:

Advertising - China Bo Restaurant

Chaperone - Action for Boston Community Development

Data Entry - Cash Management Services

File Clerk - Tufts University

Customer Service - MVP Sports Decathlon

Cashier - 7-Eleven

Sales associate - J.C.R.E.W

Cashier - Dunkin' Donuts

Store Manager - Net Station

Store Clerk - Hess Gas Station

Food Truck Operator - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Data Entry - Metavante

Date Entry - Fidelity Investment Services

MM: How did your varied job experiences impact your interest in games, especially social games?

HL: Although my job experiences were unrelated to the game industry, it did make an impact by allowing me to learn what I was not interested in. My first social game (“Gogo Casino”) was actually inspired by Zynga Poker. They were the biggest or one of the top social games at the time. I figured if a single poker game could be that big, an entire social casino would be massive.

MM: What prompted you to start a trivia game that can lead to charitable donations?

HL: I've always wanted to create a social game where users could win real prizes by using their skills/brains. In 2015, I came up with the idea of awarding users with a mystery prize for answering a streak of questions and named it "Trivia Streak.” As I shared the idea with my partner Andrew, he didn't think that everyone was going to be happy with some of the prizes and thought of a brilliant idea to give users the option to keep or donate them to charity. I immediately fell in love with the idea of gamifying charity.

MM: You also formed your own company so how did you come up with the name?

HL: Hendocheese is the combination of my two nicknames. “Hendo” was the childhood nickname that stuck with me. "Cheese" and "Uncle Cheese" are what my friends' kids call me for no other reason than the ridiculous amounts that I consume. I considered changing it to have words like studio, labs, entertainment, but I just kept it, and people seem to like it.

MM: You say you love cheese—have you any favorite types?

HL: I love all kinds of cheese, but Mozzarella is by far my favorite. Mozzarella string cheese may be the death of me!

MM: How did you decide on the three charities you work with on “Trivia Streak” and might you add more in the future?

HL: The three main criteria when choosing a charity was 1) It helps children 2) It is local 3) It is reputable. I'm open to adding more in the future that I see fit. There are many worthy charities and causes, but I'd like to focus on supporting children's charities in order to make a real impact.

MM: How tough was it to find all the trivia questions, get the game developed, and how did you raise awareness about it?

HL: All of the trivia questions are custom made by my partner and writer - Robbie Hendricks. Finding trivia questions is super easy. Writing good trivia questions is super hard. Good questions must be accurate, fun, up to date, match the audience, among many other things. Developing the game is a never-ending process. There's always something to improve, fix, add or change. Although development is tough, I've learned to enjoy the process, and it's great to be able to see how far Trivia Streak has come. We have over 1M followers on social media platforms that we use to raise awareness, but we're also looking to attend more local events moving forward.

MM: You can only play three times a day, why did you program that restriction into the app?

HL: The main reason there are a limited amount of free plays per day is that we're trying to control the cost. Currently, we don't have any sponsors, so the cost of prizes and shipping comes directly out of pocket. It may not seem like much, but an average of 3000 free attempts are given per thousand users. However, we're constantly working to find a healthy balance between playability and cost.

MM: How do you select the prizes and might you expand the prize roster in the future?

HL: I try to stick with unique, cute, funny, new and trendy things that cannot be found in stores. I'm always looking to expand the prize roster. It's good to mix our prizes up and keep them new and exciting.

MM: You also do live events, so what are those like?

HL: The live events are a way for us play interactive trivia and connect with our community of players. During the live events, we ask trivia questions and give the first person who types in the answer a chance to win a prize. We also use the live events to get feedback on how we can improve Trivia Streak. We currently host these live events on our YouTube channel every other Monday at 8 pm EST.

MM: You just attended Play NYC on the second weekend of August so what was that experience like overall?

HL: Play NYC was my first ever game convention as an exhibitor, and it was beyond amazing. Seeing people jump, shout, laugh, and genuinely have fun while playing “Trivia Streak” gave me a lot of motivation moving forward. I received so much positive feedback on the game concept. Networking with like-minded individuals, app installs, media and press were all cherries on top.

Projects, lovebirds, and the future

MM: What other game-related projects have you invented and are you working on anything right now?

HL: I have two other games "Puzzle Dash - Guess The Picture!" and "Word Bits - Guess The Picture!" They are both casual games where the objective is to reveal parts of a hidden picture and finally guessing what the picture is to complete each level. I am not working on anything right now besides Trivia Streak.

MM: You also have a lovebird partner, so what is their name and how do they “assist” you in game designs?

HL: My wife is going to kill me for mentioning my lovebird instead. My lovebird's name is "Blue Burr." He actually plays a huge role in assisting me in game design. He hates being locked up in “jail” (his cage), so I have to let him free-fly for at least an hour/day. This forces me to take a break and keeps me from having designer's block.

MM: What are your biggest hopes for the future of the company and “Trivia Streak”?

HL: I hope that we can measure Trivia Streak's success not by the number of installs, but by the number of children we've helped. I hope we'll be able to grow a huge community of donors and become the industry leaders when it comes to gamifying charity.

MM: So, Henry, there anything else that you would like to add?

HL: I would normally add cheese to everything, but I'll also be fine with giving thanks. I want to thank God for my opportunities. Thank you, Meagan, for this interview. I would like to also thank my team, my friends and family for all of their support, and the entire “Trivia Streak” community!

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