Game Shows Wiki

Hometown High Q is a long-running quiz bowl for Pittsburgh, PA.


KDKA: 2000-present


  • Ken Rice 2000-2011
  • Rick Dayton 2011-2020
  • Ray Petelin 2020-present


Three Pittsburgh-area high school teams of 3 compete. Two formats have been used, one for in-person competition, and the other for virtual competition due to COVID-19.

Standard format[]

In the standard format, there are 5 rounds, 3 with buzzers, 2 without buzzers.

Start Smart[]

In this round, teams buzz in to answer 8 questions with each answer having something in common, such as being places that end in -land. Each team starts with 100 points, and each question is worth 10 points


After contestants are introduced, the Database round begins. Each team is asked a different set of 5 questions worth 20 points each. The first question is almost always a word hidden within a phrase. For example, if the phrase is don’t waste electricity, then a question about an alloy of iron would have steel as the correct response. The response is hidden like this with the hidden word in bold and capitalized: Don’t waSTE ELectricity.

Pix File[]

8 questions, with images to accompany them, are asked. Teams must buzz in to answer. Each question is worth 10 points.

Between the Pix File and Advantage rounds, the teams’ coaches are met.


Before any team answers questions, another team hands them a packet, numbered 1, 2, or 3. Each packet contains 8 questions worth 20 points each. If a team answers all 8 questions correctly, they gain 25 bonus points.


The Quicktime round is a speed round. Teams must buzz to answer questions, similar to the Start Smart and Pix File rounds. Each question is worth 20 points if it does not have a visual, or 30 points if it does have a visual. This round’s length depends on how much time is left in the show. At the end of this round, the team with the most points wins.

Virtual format[]

For the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the format had to be adjusted to accommodate doing the show via Zoom.

The Start Smart round was not used, and contestant were introduced before any questions were asked. Additionally, no buzzers were used.


Teams are given there 100 starting points before the Database round. Besides this, there were no changes between the standard and virtual Database rounds, and points could not be lost.

Pix File[]

3 questions with accompanying pictures were asked, each worth 20 points. However, 20 points were taken away for an incorrect response. Unique to this round was an option to pass and only lose 10 points.


The packets were abolished in favor of 3 different sets of questions for each team, similarly to the Database round. Only 7 questions were asked instead of the 8 in the standard format. Besides those changes, the Advantage round is the same as the standard format version, where you couldn’t lose points


4 questions were asked with 1 of them being a visual question. The non-visual questions were worth 20 points, with the visual question being worth 30 points. If you got a wrong answer, you lost the amount of points the question was worth.

For the 2021-2022 season, the Quicktime round was changed to a 45 second speed round. Each team has a different set of questions. The correct answers to a set all have something in common, such as starting with the same letter. Correct answers are worth 20 points, and incorrect answers make you lose 20 points. You can pass, but passes are counted as incorrect answers, unlike the Pix File round. At the end of the episode, the team with the most points wins.

2021-22 Season Results[]

First Round Winners
Ep No. Winning Team Score
1 Upper St. Clair 540
2 Thomas Jefferson 460
3 Laurel Highlands 485
4 Hopewell 490
5 Riverview 340
6 North Allegheny 625
7 Ellis School 625
8 Frazier 410
9 Albert Gallatin 440
10 Beaver 545
11 Greensburg Salem 440
12 Fox Chapel 450
13 Springdale 480
14 Charleroi 385
15 Mars 585
16 Connellsville 445
17 Trinity Christian 410
18 Homer-Center 520
19 Blackhawk 645
20 Penns Manor 545
21 Mount Lebanon 605
22 Norwin 555
23 Allderdice 440
24 North Hills 545
25 Quaker Valley 485
26 Trinity 525
27 Bethel Park 445

Quarterfinal Winners (With Winning Score)[]

  • Episode 28: Upper St. Clair (520)
  • Episode 29: North Allegheny (575)
  • Episode 30: Ellis School (485)
  • Episode 31: Fox Chapel (440)
  • Episode 32: Greensburg Salem (500)
  • Episode 33: Homer-Center (440)
  • Episode 34: Norwin (485)
  • Episode 35: Mars (540)
  • Episode 36: Quaker Valley (525)

Semifinal Winners[]

  • Episode 37: Upper St. Clair
  • Episode 38: Mars
  • Episode 39: Homer-Center

Championship Winner (With Winning Score):[]

  • Episode 40: Upper St. Clair

Tournament Structure and Prize Money[]

Each season of the show is a tournament to find the High Q Champion. The first round (regular season) of the show involves 81 local high schools. If a team wins one of the 27 regular season games, they move on to the playoffs. If a team then wins one of the 9 quarterfinals, they move on to one of the 3 semifinals. If they then win their semifinal, they move in to the championship to play for the title. Teams that reach the semifinal round of the show and fail to advance to the finals receive a $1,500 grant from Williams. Teams that reach the Finals and finish 2nd or 3rd receive a $2,500 grant and the season champion receives a $3,000 grant from Williams.

Previous Season Champions[]

  • 1999-2000: Central Catholic
  • 2000-01:
  • 2001-02: Ringgold
  • 2002-03:
  • 2003-04
  • 2004-05:
  • 2005-06:
  • 2006-07:
  • 2007-08: Shady Side Academy
  • 2008-09: Uniontown
  • 2009-10: Hampton
  • 2010-11: Winchester-Thurston
  • 2011-12: Winchester-Thurston
  • 2012-13: Winchester-Thurston
  • 2013-14: Trinity Christian
  • 2014-15: Winchester-Thurston
  • 2015-16: Knoch
  • 2016-17:
  • 2017-18: Central Catholic
  • 2018-19: Central Catholic
  • 2019-20: No winner due to COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 2020-21: Winchester-Thurston
  • 2021-22: Upper St. Clair


Giant Eagle (Earlier Seasons)
Westfield Insurance
Williams (Current sponsor)