Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? is a game show franchise based on the television game show of the same name. The 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 was unknown, but the syndicated TV show debuted in late-September 2009. Episodes from this series were also broadcast on MyNetworkTV one evening per week, and on the Country Music Television (CMT) channel it was 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 (Million Dollar Question): "Who was the longest reigning British Monarch?"; the answer was Queen Victoria.
- George Smoot, the Nobel Prize in Physics laureate, was the second person, answering: "What U.S. state is home to Acadia National Park?"; the answer was 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 (but Brad Rutter since reclaimed the title by winning in the Jeopardy! 2014 Battle of the Decades, where Rutter won the tournament, prize money of one million dollars, and the record as the highest money-winner ever on American game shows, which Jennings had held since 2008). 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
|Albania||Të gjithë për një||Eno Popi||Top Channel||October 2016||Albanian|
|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||September 26, 2007 – October 30, 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 znae vsiako hlape!
|Ivan & Andrei (2007-2008), Dimitar & Deo (2008-2009)||bTV||September 15, 2007 – February 20, 2009||Bulgarian|
|Canada||Are You Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader?||Colin Mochrie||Global||October 25 – November 22, 2007||English|
|La classe de 5e||Charles Lafortune||TVA||February 5, 2009||French|
|Cambodia||តើអ្នកឆ្លាតជាងក្មេងថ្នាក់ទី៥ឬទេ?||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||June 23, 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 – November 30, 2007||French|
|Germany||Das weiß doch jedes Kind!||Cordula Stratmann||Sat.1||July 6, 2007 – 2008||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||Tantowi Yahya
|Global TV||April 4, 2009 – 2010||Indonesian|
|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 5 klasnieku?||Māris Olte||TV3||September 8, 2007||Latvian|
|Lithuania||Penktokų iššūkis||Andrius Rožickas||TV3||September 2, 2007||Lithuanian|
|Malaysia||Are You Smarter than a 4th Grader?||Unknown||TV3||October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2008||Malay|
|Mexico||Todo el mundo cree que sabe||Marco Antonio Regil||Televisa||June 13, 2009||Spanish|
|Mongolia||Ta 5-p aнгийн хүүхдээс ухаантай юу?||Edutainment Tv||Mongolia|
|Myanmar||၅တန္းနဲ႔ျပိဳင္ ဘယ္သူႏုိင္||Unknown||Channel 7||2013||Burmese|
|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 – November 25, 2007||English|
|Norway||Er du smartere enn en 5. klassing?||Sturla Berg-Johansen||TV2||March 9, 2012||Norwegian|
|Peru||Sabes más que un niño de primaria?||Bruno Pinasco||América Televisión||April 27, 2014||Spanish|
|Philippines||Kakasa Ka Ba Sa Grade 5?||Janno Gibbs||GMA Network||October 27, 2007 – May 9, 2009
March 21, 2009 – March 28, 2009
|Poland||Czy jesteś mądrzejszy od 5-klasisty?||Robert Korólczyk / Marzena Rogalska||TV Puls||October 29, 2007 – 2009||Polish|
|Portugal||Sabe Mais Do Que Um Miúdo De 10 Anos?||Jorge Gabriel||RTP1||September 17, 2007 – June 30, 2008||Portuguese|
|Romania||Te crezi mai deştept decât un copil de clasa a 5-a?||Virgil Ianţu||Prima TV||2007–2008||Romanian|
|Russia||Кто умнее 5-классника?
Kto umnee 5-klassnika?
|Alexandr Pushnoy||CTC||December 9, 2007 – July 20, 2008||Russian|
|Serbia||Da li ste pametniji od đaka petaka?||Voja Nedeljković||Fox||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||June 28 – December 1, 2007
July 14 – August 18, 2008
|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||October 7, 2007 – April 24, 2010||English|
|United States||Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (Fox Primetime)||Jeff Foxworthy||Fox||February 27, 2007 – September 18, 2009
May 26 – September 8, 2015
|Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (20th Television daily version)||Syndicated by 20th Television||September 21, 2009 – March 24, 2011|
|Vietnam||Ai thông minh hơn học sinh lớp 5?||Tạ Minh Tâm (2009-2010)||HTV2||June 21, 2009 – June 20, 2010||Vietnamese|
|Thanh Bạch (June 27, 2010 – January 10, 2013)
Trấn Thành (January 17, 2013 – January 9, 2014)
|VTV3||January 19, 2012 – January 9, 2014 (2nd revived)||Vietnamese|
|Bình Minh (February 16, 2014 – present)||VTV6||February 16, 2014 – April 5, 2015||Vietnamese|
|HTV7||April 22, 2015 – April 13, 2016 (3rd revived)|
On October 20, 2008, developer THQ released the first 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.
In 2015, GameMill Entertainment released a game based on the 2015 FOX Primetime revival for the Nintendo 3DS.
Parker Brothers 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.
Video Slot Machine
In 2014, AGS (American Gaming Systems) released a slot machine game based on the show (along with Family Feud and Ripley's Believe It or Not) as part of their "It Pays to Know" series of games. The base of the game is a five-reel scatter pay video slot on a four-by-five, yielding 1,024 possible winning combinations on every spin. packed with bonus event like: "Free Spin Events", "Picking Bonuses" & "Mystery Awards". In the game, players are prompted to choose one of the four "Helpers" fall-backs like eliminating one of the four possible multiple-choice answers or it's stats on how the audience would answer the question. The layer is then given a first-grade question and then tries to answer it correctly. The earlier the correct answer is picked, the higher the award. Answering a question correctly within three times advance the grade level and the game goes on. Completing the "Gold Star Bonus" in which the player picks from a field of five stars to reveal an advance award. In addition to the "Helper" picked at the beginning, the player can earn any of the three "cheats" by landing symbols on the primary game:
- Peek - Just like the TV show, this help lets you look at the answers of a "classmate". You can then choose to "copy" the answer for the game while the other cheat is "Save" for which it automatically corrects your wrong answer if the classmate has the correct one.
- Field Trip - In this bonus events, the picks are made to reveal multipliers for a free-spin bonus and two primary game events called "Mystery Jackpot" and "Mega Block Spins" where it expands the real field for up to 10 rows of symbols with three wild reels for one super spin.
- Additional Note - In the "Peek" bonus event, the classmate will not always have the right answer.
- 2006-07 primetime wrap
- Fretts, Bruce (June 17, 2013). "Eyes on the Prize", TV Guide, pp. 14 and 15.
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