Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? is a television game show format based on posing grade-school level questions to adults, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. This television show began broadcast on the Fox Broadcasting Company network as a special in the United States and Canada on February 27, 2007, and it grew to be popular enough that a half-hour-long syndicated TV series was developed by the owners.
Since then, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? has been replicated in several other countries, some versions under the same title, and some under modified ones. The first season of this TV program ranked 28th in the Nielsen ratings in the U.S., with an average of 12.7 million viewers per episode. The status of the Fox-TV series following the summer of 2008 is unknown, but the syndicated TV show debuted in late-September 2009. Episodes from this series are also broadcast on MyNetworkTV one evening per week, and on the Country Music Television (CMT) channel it is broadcast on five evenings per week.
GSN began airing the show November 6, 2011 in five-hour blocks starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. They currently air Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Sunday nights.
Each game is played by a single contestant who earns money incrementally based on a payout ladder by answering simple trivia questions, with the game themed as a school quiz. The game relies on the premise that an adult would not know the information generally taught in elementary grade school, because it is rarely used in adult life by the type of person chosen to be a contestant. Therefore, the show is essentially a test to see how much an adult has retained since graduating elementary school. The show also derives its humor by occasionally displaying the contestant's educational attainment, implying that in spite of that, they struggle to answer some questions.
The contestant is presented and chooses from a set of ten subjects and grade level question topics. The question is then revealed. Some questions are multiple choice or true/false; others require the contestant to answer without any options.
Each correct answer moves the contestant up a payout ladder, with a final bonus fifth grade question moving the contestant up one more step to the top prize of $1,000,000. At any point up to the final question, the contestant may quit the game after seeing the question, and keep all money earned up to that point. For the final question, the contestant is only presented the subject and then must decide whether to continue or quit (and keep earned money). The contestant may not walk away after choosing to see the question. The contestant is not guaranteed any winnings until after the fifth question is answered correctly, at which point $25,000 is guaranteed.
Only two contestants have attempted to answer the final question and done so correctly:
- Kathy Cox, the Superintendent of Schools for the State of Georgia, was the first person to have correctly answered the $1,000,000 question (MDQ): "Who was the longest reigning British Monarch?" The answer was Queen Victoria.
- The Nobel Prize in Physics laureate George Smoot was the second person, answering "What U.S. state is home to Acadia National Park?", with the correct answer of Maine.
Many celebrities have competed on this TV show on behalf of various charities. The rock 'n' roll star Gene Simmons of the band KISS dropped out with $500,000 for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, making him one of the highest winning celebrities to appear on the show. The subject of the Million Dollar Question was "Science", and the question was "What element is represented by the letter K in the periodic table?" Simmons said that he would have answered krypton, but the correct answer is actually potassium.
The 20-year old Mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and the youngest mayor in the United States, John Tyler Hammons, appeared on October 24, 2008, winning $25,000 for his charity after missing the question "What's the name of the first American woman to travel to outer space?". Unsure of the correct answer (which is Sally Ride), he "copied" the 5th grader's answer, which was wrong.
Ken Jennings could have become the second person to win the million dollars but he decided not to go for the Social Studies million-dollar question ("U.S. President John Adams was a member of what political party at the time of his election?"). Upon seeing the question after dropping out of school, he answered it correctly (Federalist). However, his winnings of $500,000 were enough to regain the all-time game show winnings record from Brad Rutter, who had defeated him in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions to claim it. Seven other contestants have also dropped out at the million-dollar question.
|Correct Answer Value (original U.S. version)|
|1st Grade Questions||2nd Grade Questions||3rd Grade Questions||4th Grade Questions||5th Grade Bonus Question|
|$500 each||$1,000 each||$3,500 each||$7,500 each||10 times earned value|
There were five "classmates" (three since season 5) in the game of approximately fifth-grade age who also answer each question in secret by writing their answers. These answers are sometimes used to create tension when the classmates' answers do not correlate with the contestant's. Additionally, the contestant selects one of the classmates at the beginning of the game to help them during the game. Each classmate can only help for two questions, and then a new classmate must be selected.
The selected classmate provides the contestant with two "cheats," each of which may only be used once. The contestant may choose to "peek" at the classmate's paper, which allows them to see the classmate's answer before they give their own (once the peek is used the contestant must answer the question); the contestant may "copy" the classmate, which automatically locks the classmate's answer in as their own. In addition, the contestant has one "save," which comes into play after the contestant gives their first wrong answer. If the classmate has written the correct answer, he saves the contestant; otherwise, the game ends and the contestant loses the game and wins nothing, unless he correctly answers five questions, at which point he is guaranteed the fifth level of the payout ladder. This "save" no longer apply since season 5. The cheats are not available on the final question; Additionally, once all the cheats are used, the chosen classmate returns to the group and no new classmate is selected. The classmates continue to write answers for the questions, however, to be used for tension.
The classmates are generally the same throughout a season, and are given a "study guide" of possible question topics before the start of the season. Since the classmates are not in an adversarial role with the contestants, this only serves to help the contestants if they use the "cheats." It does, however, give a misleading impression of the knowledge level of actual fifth-graders, since the classmates on the show rarely miss the questions, having been given study material in advance. In fact, the show's title is something of a misnomer, since contestants do not actually compete against the classmates, and the classmates' performance on the show is enhanced by study materials, although they still occasionally miss a question. The title was selected to make the show more interesting, specifically making adults look stupid and then exploiting the supposed "stupidity," which is an irony because adults are supposed to teach children.
Upon leaving the game either by quitting ("DROP OUT"), or answering incorrectly ("FLUNK OUT"), the contestant must profess to the camera, "I am not smarter than a fifth grader." However, if the million dollar question is answered correctly (which has only happened twice), the contestant has the opportunity to claim, "I am smarter than a fifth grader."
The show has spawned many versions around the world:
Currently airing No longer airing
|Argentina||¿Sabés más que un chico de 5to grado?||Andrea Frigerio and Pablo Granados||América (Channel 2)||July 9, 2007||Spanish|
|Australia||Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?||Rove McManus||Network Ten||26 September 2007 – 30 October 2009||English|
|Austria||Dreizehn||Christian Clerici||ORF1||September 27, 2007||German|
|Belgium||Slimmer Dan Een Kind Van 10?||Goedele Liekens||VT4||September 6, 2007||Dutch|
|Êtes-vous plus malin qu'un enfant de primaire ?||Alain Simons||RTL-TVI||September 6, 2007||French|
|Brazil||Você é Mais Esperto Que um Aluno da Quinta Série?||Silvio Santos||SBT||September 23, 2007||Portuguese|
|Bulgaria||Това го знае всяко хлапе!
Tova go znaye vsyako khlape!
|Dimitar & Deo||bTV||September 15, 2007 (canceled on February 20, 2009)||Bulgarian|
|Canada||Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader?||Colin Mochrie||Global||October 25, 2007 – November 22, 2007||English|
|La classe de 5e||Charles Lafortune||TVA||February 5, 2009||French|
|Cambodia||តើអ្នកឆ្លាតជាងក្មេងថ្នាក់ទី៥ឬទេ? (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?)||ដួង សុខគា (Doung Sokhea)||CTN||September 14, 2012||Khmer|
|Chile||¿Sabes más que un niño de 5º básico?||José Miguel Viñuela||MEGA||April 2, 2008||Spanish|
Wŭ nián jí jiù zhù duì
|Wang Han||HNETV||May 1, 2007||Standard Chinese|
Xìng yùn 52 xìng yùn kè táng
|Li Yong||CCTV-2||June 1, 2007||Standard Chinese|
Shéi bĭ shéi cōng ming
|Liu Ming-ming||SZTV||June 1, 2007||Standard Chinese|
Nĭ néng bì yè ma?
|TJTV||June 2, 2007||Standard Chinese|
Bù kǎo bù zhī dào
|Xu Rui||SXTVS||June 30, 2007||Standard Chinese|
Wǔ nián jí chā bān shēng
|He Hao-peng||Guangdong TV||August 10, 2007||Cantonese|
|Colombia||¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria?||Jose Gabriel Ortiz||Caracol TV||February 20, 2008||Spanish|
|Czech Republic||Jsi chytřejší než páťák?||Michal Suchánek & Richard Genzer||TV Nova||2007||Czech|
|Denmark||Er Du Klogere End En 10-Årig?||Jan Gintberg||TV3||September 22, 2007||Danish|
|Estonia||Targem kui 5B||Indrek Tarand||TV3||September 13, 2008||Estonian|
|Finland||Fiksumpi kuin koululainen||Nicke Lignell||MTV3||November 6, 2008||Finnish|
|France||Êtes-vous plus fort qu’un élève de 10 ans ?||Roland Magdane||M6||September 3, 2007||French|
|Germany||Das weiß doch jedes Kind!||Cordula Stratmann||Sat.1||July 6, 2007||German|
|Greece||Είσαι πιο έξυπνος από ένα δεκάχρονο
Eísai pio éxypnos apó éna dekáchrono
|Sophia Aliberti||ANT1||January 19, 2008||Greek|
Hai Mai Siu Yi Fo
|Leo Ku||TVB||October 25, 2008 – November 16, 2009||Cantonese|
|Hungary||Okosabb vagy mint egy 5-es?||Attila Till||TV2||August 24, 2007||Hungarian|
|Iceland||Ertu skarpari en skólakrakki?||Gunnar Hansson||Skjár 1||October 21, 2007||Icelandic|
|India||Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?||Shahrukh Khan||STAR Plus||April 25, 2008 – July 27, 2008||Hindi|
|Indonesia||Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Indonesia
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Kota Langsa
Charles Bonar Strait
|April 4, 2009 - 2010
2013 - present
|Israel||?'האם אתה חכם יותר מתלמיד כיתה ו
Ha'im ata hakham metalmid kitah vav?
|Eyal Kitzis||Channel 2||July 2007||Hebrew|
|Italy||Sei più bravo di un ragazzino di 5ª?||Massimiliano Ossini / Riccardo Rossi||Sky Uno / cielo||October 6, 2008 - 2011||Italian|
Kuizu anata wa shogaku 5-nensei yori kashikoi no? 
|Takashi Suzuki||NTV||April 24, 2011||Japanese|
|Latvia||Vai tu esi gudrāks par piektklasnieku?||Māris Olte||TV3||September 8, 2007||Latvian|
|Lithuania||Penktokų iššūkis||Andrius Rožickas||TV3||September 2, 2007||Lithuanian|
|Mexico||Todo el mundo cree que sabe||Marco Antonio Regil||Televisa||June 13, 2009||Spanish|
|Netherlands||Ben je slimmer dan een kind?||Erik van der Hoff||Net 5||September 2, 2007||Dutch|
|New Zealand||Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?||Dominic Bowden||TV2||September 9, 2007||English|
|Norway||Er du smartere enn en 5. klassing?||Sturla Berg-Johansen||TV2||March 9, 2012||Norwegian|
|Philippines||Kakasa Ka Ba Sa Grade 5?||Janno Gibbs||GMA Network||October 27, 2007 – May 9, 2009||Filipino and English|
|Poland||Czy jesteś mądrzejszy od 5-klasisty?||Robert Korólczyk / Marzena Rogalska||TV Puls||October 29, 2007||Polish|
|Portugal||Sabe Mais Do Que Um Miúdo De 10 Anos?||Jorge Gabriel||RTP1||September 17, 2007 (1st edition)
June 30, 2008 (2nd edition)
|Romania||Te crezi mai deştept decât un copil de clasa a 5-a?||Virgil Ianţu||Prima TV||Unknown||Romanian|
|Russia||Кто умнее 5-классника?
Kto umneye 5-klassnika?
|Alexandr Pushnoy||CTC||December 9, 2007||Russian|
|Serbia||Da li ste pametniji od đaka petaka?||Voja Nedeljković||Fox televizija||September 2007||Serbian|
|Slovakia||Ste chytrejší ako piatak?||Peter Marcin||TV Markiza||2007||Slovak|
|Slovenia||Ste pametnejši od petošolca?||TBA||POP TV||TBA||Slovene|
|South Africa||Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?||Soli Philander||M-Net||January 27, 2008||English|
|Spain||¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria?||Ramón García||Antena 3||July 2007||Spanish|
|Sri Lanka||Punchi Pahe Man||Vijaya Nandasiri||Sirasa TV||2008||Sinhala|
|Sweden||Smartare än en femteklassare||Lasse Kronér||SVT1||March 19, 2011||Swedish|
Bǎi wàn xiǎo xuétáng
|Zhang Xiao-yan (張小燕, 1st edition)
Bowie Tsang (曾寶儀) and Xiaoxia (小蝦) (2nd edition)
|TTV||October 3, 2008 – May 3, 2013||Standard Chinese|
|Thailand||ถ้าคุณแน่? อย่าแพ้ เด็ก (ประถม)!
T̄ĥā khuṇ næ̀? Xỳā phæ̂ dĕk (prat̄hm)!
|Kanit Sarasin||Thai TV 3||October 1, 2007 (1st edition)
October 13, 2008 – April 29, 2010 (2nd edition)
|Turkey||5'e Gidenden Akıllı Mısın?||Tolga Gariboğlu||STAR TV||June 2007||Turkish|
|Ukraine||Чи розумніший ти за п’ятикласника?
Chy rozumnishiy ty za p'yatyklasnyka?
|Serhiy Prytula||Novyi Kanal||January 6, 2008||Ukrainian|
|United Kingdom||Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old?||Noel Edmonds
|Sky One||7 October 2007 – 24 April 2010||English|
|United States||Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (Fox Primetime)||Jeff Foxworthy||Fox||February 27, 2007||English|
|Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (20th Television daily version)||Syndicated by 20th Television||September 21, 2009|
|Vietnam||Ai thông minh hơn học sinh lớp 5?||Tạ Minh Tâm (2009)
Thanh Bạch (2009 – 2011)
|HTV2||June 19, 2009 – late 2009 (axed)
November 2010 – early 2011 (1st revived)
|Thanh Bạch (January 19, 2012 – January 10, 2013)
Trấn Thành (January 17, 2013 – present)
|VTV3||January 19, 2012 – present (2nd revived)||Vietnamese|
On October 20, 2008, developer THQ released the first Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? video game, titled Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?: Make the Grade, for the PC, PS2, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Xbox Live Arcade. The Xbox Live Arcade version as of mid 2010 was delisted from the Xbox Live Game Marketplace.
A sequel Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Game Time was released on October 26, 2009 for Nintendo DS, Wii and Xbox 360.
Parker Bros. released a DVD game based on the show. Unlike the show, the player can only pick one classmate for the whole game, and has a choice of 20 games. A 2-player mode is also available.
- 2006-07 primetime wrap
- Fretts, Bruce (June 17, 2013). "Eyes on the Prize", TV Guide, pp. 14 and 15.
- "Episode AYS-109". Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. Season 1. Episode 09. 2007-04-19. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- Camarillo fifth-grader joins class on 'Smarter' game show : Lifestyle : Ventura County Star
- "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?". Channel Ten. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- "Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão" (in Portuguese). TvTv.bg. 2007-08-16. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- "Нова тв игра тръгва по bTV през септември" (in Bulgarian). TvTv.bg. 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- "Global Signs Up for Canadian Version of Burnett Game Show". World Screen. 2007-08-02. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- "Official website of the new show". TVA. 2008-03-05. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- "Canada to get its French "5th Grader"". Game Show Forum. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- Fassler, Kristina. "Cordula Stratmann moderiert neue Sat.1-Wissens-Show "Das weiß doch jedes Kind"" (in German). ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
-  tv.antenna.gr
- "Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?". STAR TV. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- "Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?". Eyeworks Touchdown. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?". MNET — A Division of DStv. Archived from the original on 5 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
- "Edmonds strikes kids quiz TV deal". BBC. 2007-05-24.