A FORMER pub manager whose virtual pub quiz went viral said it feels "surreal”after more than 300,000 people worldwide tuned in.

Jay Flynn, from Darwen, set up the quiz on Facebook “for a laugh”, and had almost 500,000 responses to his event, with users from as far as Geneva, New York and New Zealand expressing interest.

Going live on YouTube and Facebook, the quiz started at 7.50pm on Thursday, but didn’t officially get going until 8.15pm, as Mr Flynn, 37, halted proceedings to pay respect to NHS staff.

He said: “We stopped a couple of minutes before 8pm and went out for the round of applause which was amazing.

“My wife works for the NHS and is still working, and what they’re all doing at the moment is fantastic.”

With five rounds, including science, TV and film, music, history and general knowledge, at its peak, the quiz attracted more than 300,000 participants, with official figures looking to be a lot more due to multiple players in each household.

After the final round, Mr Flynn, a sales executive for Chapelhouse Suzuki in Blackburn, said he was inundated with messages, and even had sales reps from Kopparberg contact him offering free cider.

He said: “I didn’t go to bed till about 3.30am as I was trying to reply to everyone. It’s so surreal.

“I’ve got a Twitter account but don’t really use it and people had even found me on that and were sending me messages on there saying ‘look, it’s the virtual quiz guy’.

“I was like, ‘what is happening to my life right now’,”

His YouTube channel now has more than 35,000 subscribers and the Facebook page, The Virtual Pub Quiz, more than 25,000 likes.

He said: “It takes some people years to get that many subscribers.”

Mr Flynn, who used to manage The Crown pub on Redearth Road, said he’ll continue with the quiz as long as people want.

The next quiz will go live at 8.15pm on Thursday, April 3.