(Credit: ViDi Studio, Shutterstock / ViDi Studio)

There are plenty of ways to potentially win real money. If you're cunning and physically fit, you could bag bank on "Survivor," "The Amazing Race," or "Big Brother." If you're a creative, you could sing the winning number on "American Idol," dance that triumphant tango on "So You Think You Can Dance," or construct that prize outfit on "Project Runway." If you're full of knowledge, you could crush on "Jeopardy!," "Wheel of Fortune," or "Family Feud."

SEE: Best trivia games and quiz games like HQ Trivia

You could also compete in a major poker tournament, enter a Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, or answer one of those emails where a loaded foreign dignitary is dying and wants to leave you their entire inheritance if you just provide your bank account info and social security number -- ok, maybe not that one...

But if you're looking for a more realistic way to win cold hard cash, check out our picks for the best game apps to win real money.

1. Lucky Day

Free app Lucky Day (Android, iOS) gives users the chance to win up to $10,000 by matching three winning symbols on instant win scratch cards, up to $100,000 in a jackpot, or several other denominations via hundreds of free scratcher, lotto, and raffle games -- each day.


2. Lottery - Play the Powerball

The Lottery - Play the Powerball (Android, iOS) app enables users to play the Powerball and Mega Millions in select states and scan and track physical lottery tickets -- without paying a penny. You'll also get alerted when the jackpot is high, so you'll remember to play.

To start, create an account, verify your age, and add a payment method, and then get all that you win delivered directly to your bank account.


3. SpinToWin Slots & Sweepstakes

SpinToWin Slots & Sweepstakes (Android, iOS) offers tap-to-spin Vegas-style casino games for fun and excitement and scratch cards and sweepstakes for winning big -- up to $10,000.

The game is free to play, but if you go premium, you can pay $2.99 per month, $4.99 per quarter, or $17.99 per year to lose the ads when playing SpinToWin Slots. Or subscribe to the VIP-level subscription for $3.99 per month, $9.99 per quarter, or $34.99 per year for ad-less slot-playing and expedited Mega Bonus resets.


4. HQ Trivia

What's the hottest trivia game for iOS and Android? One offering fun trivia questions and answers for adults? Not easy trivia per se, but multiple choice trivia questions that if answered correctly, reap big winnings? Live trivia game show HQ Trivia (Android, iOS) is the trivia app that pays, with winnings in the thousands.Devised by Vine's creators and hosted by quizmaster Scott Rogowsky, the live game show on your phone, played daily, has become a pop culture phenomenon and even attracted special guest celeb hosts like The Rock, Robert De Niro, Ice Cube, and Alicia Silverstone.


5. Perk Pop Quiz

Are you an expert on popular shows like "Big Bang Theory," "Game of Thrones," and "Walking Dead"? Can you quickly identify movie quotes and song lyrics? Do you know all the state capitals? Are you a wiz at unscrambling words? Then Perk Pop Quiz (Android, iOS) is the game for you.

While you can't actually win real money from the app, you can earn real gift cards from, Starbucks, Nike, GameStop, Target, and hundreds of other brands, if you accumulate enough points. And there are sites where you can sell those gift cards for cold hard cash.


6. SwagIQ

Like HQ Trivia, free app SwagIQ (Android, iOS) is another live trivia game show played on your phone where you use your wits to win gift cards or huge cash prizes payable in PayPal cash.


7. Grand

Grand: Save Money & Win (iOS) rewards users for saving money by turning it into a money-earning lottery game you'll surely want to play. Just link your checking account to the bank-level encrypted app and automate transfers from your checking account each week or just when you want to to a savings account that enables you to earn 1 percent. But every time you add more money to your savings account, you're entered to win a weekly drawing, each Friday at 11 a.m. PT. If you're one of the lucky winners, your winnings -- up to $1,000 -- are transferred directly to your account. Grand can hold onto your savings or invest it in an investment account or retirement funds. Grand is free to try for the first month and then costs $2 a month.


8. Long Game Savings

Long Game Savings (Android, iOS) helps you reach your financial goals by winning cold hard cash. Create an account in the app, link your bank, deposit money securely into a Long Game Savings Account, achieve missions to reach financial goals, and win coins to play fun games to win up to $1 million in cash prizes or even cryptocurrency. Sock it away and earn interest or withdraw it. You'll get 300 free bonus coins just for joining.


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Joshua is an editor for CNET's He covers the mobile tech and apps that power our lives and interviews celebrities about their favorite apps. Previously, he worked as an editor at Healthline and and as a contributing writer for Mac Directory, MacAddict, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, and SF Chronicle.