Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? is a game show franchise that was, co-created and produced by Mark Burnett, based on the game created by Howard Stern for The Howard Stern Show. Adult contestants answer questions as if they came from an elementary grade school quiz. The original U.S. version with host Jeff Foxworthy debuted on the Fox Broadcasting network on February 27, 2007, airing on Fox until 2009, as a syndicated TV series between 2009 and 2011, and then revived on Fox in 2015. The Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? format has since been replicated in several other countries, some versions under the same title, and some under modified ones.
|Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?|
|Created by||Mark Burnett|
|Running time||20–25 minutes|
|Original release||27 February 2007 –|
8 September 2015
|Related shows||US show (2007–15) |
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 providing any options.
Each correct answer moves the contestant up a payout ladder, with a final bonus fifth-grade question (sixth-grade on the 2015 revival) 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 was only given the category/subject of the question and then must decide whether to quit the game or risk $475,000 to attempt the final question (which is always a question with no options); the question is shown once the decision is made, and the contestant are not permitted to leave should the contestant attempts it. The contestant is not guaranteed any winnings until after the fifth question is answered correctly, at which point $25,000 is guaranteed. During the show's run, seven other contestants have also dropped out at the $1,000,000 question.
To date, only two contestants have attempted to answer the final question successfully:
- Kathy Cox, Superintendent of Schools for the State of Georgia (aired September 4, 2008): "Who was the longest-reigning British Monarch?" (Queen Victoria) .[a]
- George Smoot, a Nobel Prize in Physics laureate (aired September 16, 2009): "What U.S. state is home to Acadia National Park?" (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 category was "Science", and the question was "What element is represented by the letter K in the periodic table?"; Simmons would have answered krypton, but the correct answer was actually potassium.
The 20-year-old mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and then-youngest mayor in the United States, John Tyler Hammons, appeared on October 24, 2008, became the first celebrity contestant to attempt the $1,000,000 question but answered incorrectly and left with $25,000 for his charity (Hammon's question was: "What's the name of the first American woman to travel to outer space?" (Sally Ride); he copied the 5th-grader's answer, which was later revealed as incorrect).
Ken Jennings, a former Jeopardy! game show champion, could have become the second person to win $1,000,000 but he decided not to go for the Social Studies $1,000,000 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 and has held since (Jennings' record has since surpassed by Rutter after winning another $1,000,000 in the Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades; however, Jennings later reclaimed the distinction following his victory on Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time in 2020).
|Correct Answer Value (original U.S. version)|
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.
Each contestant is given two "cheats" and one "save" in which the contestant can receive help from the selected classmate, but may only be used once throughout a game:
- "Peek": The contestant is shown their classmate's answer and may choose whether to go along with it or not; however, they must answer the question upon using this cheat.
- "Copy": The contestant is automatically committed to the classmate's answer as in their own. The contestant loses if the classmate's answer was incorrect (During the 2015 revival, the classmate is allowed to discuss his/her answer with the other fifth graders and change it if desired).
- "Save": If the contestant answers incorrectly but their classmate is correct, they are credited with a correct answer. It cannot be used normally unlike the first two cheats. (available until season 4).
The contestant may use any cheats up until the 10th question, but any remaining unused cheats are forfeited during the final question. Once all the cheats are used, the chosen classmate returns to the group and no new classmate is selected for the remainder of the game, though the classmates continue to write answers for the questions as usual, as part of 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.
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 contestant answers the final question correctly and won the top prize, the contestant instead declare it on camera that, "I am smarter than a fifth grader."
The syndicated version featured a reduced grand prize of $250,000 with a revised game format; unlike the original game format, the contestant must attempt to correctly answer up to ten questions (eight on the second syndicated season, as fifth-grade questions are removed until the final question) with correct answers earning a certain cash value proportional to the difficulty (first-grade questions are worth the lowest amount, and fifth-grade being the highest). The contestant may not leave the game unlike the original format; before answering the final question, the contestant may chose to leave the game or risk all their winnings to answer one final fifth-grade bonus question; a correct answer multiply their current winnings by ten. If the contestant loses the final question, the contestant wins only prepaid card as consolation, with the value dependent on the winnings risked.
The cheats are retained from the original version and can still be used until the tenth (or eighth, in season 2) question.
The 2019 Nickelodeon version also featured a different game format and a prize of up to $100,000. The format was split into two rounds: in round one, contestants answered six questions from the first four grades (one question from the first two grades, and two from the next two grades), with a possible maximum of $10,000. In round two, the contestant was given 60 seconds to correctly answer as many as five fifth-grade questions; each correct answers increase the multiplier by one; answering all five questions correctly for the round multiplies the round one winnings by ten.
The contestants are still given two cheats to use during the first round; the "Save" is instead replaced with a final cheat (usable on the second round) where the contestant may discuss with the classmate for the answer without a time limit.
At the end of the show's run, one contestant correctly answered all 11 questions and won the top prize of $100,000.
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|
|Argentina||¿Sabés más que un chico de 5to grado?||Andrea Frigerio and Pablo Granados||América (Channel 2)||July 9, 2007|
|Australia||Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?||Rove McManus||Network Ten||September 26, 2007 – October 30, 2009|
|Austria||Dreizehn||Christian Clerici||ORF1||September 27, 2007|
|Belgium||Slimmer Dan Een Kind Van 10?||Goedele Liekens||VT4||September 6, 2007|
|Êtes-vous plus malin qu'un enfant de primaire ?||Alain Simons||RTL-TVI||September 6, 2007|
|Brazil||Você é Mais Esperto Que um Aluno da Quinta Série?||Silvio Santos||SBT||September 23, 2007|
|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|
|Canada (in English)||Are You Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader?||Colin Mochrie||Global||October 25, 2007 – November 22, 2007|
|La classe de 5e||Charles Lafortune||TVA||February 5, 2009|
|Cambodia||តើអ្នកឆ្លាតជាងក្មេងថ្នាក់ទី៥ឬទេ?||Doung Sokhea||CTN||September 14, 2012|
|Chile||¿Sabes más que un niño de 5º básico?||José Miguel Viñuela||MEGA||April 2, 2008|
Wŭ nián jí jiù zhù duì
|Wang Han||HNETV||May 1, 2007|
Xìng yùn 52 xìng yùn kè táng
|Li Yong||CCTV-2||June 1, 2007|
Shéi bĭ shéi cōng ming
|Liu Ming-ming||SZTV||June 1, 2007|
Nĭ néng bì yè ma?
|TJTV||June 2, 2007|
Bù kǎo bù zhī dào
|Xu Rui||SXTVS||June 30, 2007|
Wǔ nián jí chā bān shēng
|He Hao-peng||Guangdong TV||August 10, 2007|
|Colombia||¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria?||Jose Gabriel Ortiz||Caracol TV||February 20, 2008|
|Czech Republic||Jsi chytřejší než páťák?||Michal Suchánek & Richard Genzer||TV Nova||June 23, 2007|
|Denmark||Er Du Klogere End En 10-Årig?||Jan Gintberg||TV3||September 22, 2007|
|Estonia||Targem kui 5B||Indrek Tarand||TV3||September 13, 2008|
|Finland||Fiksumpi kuin koululainen||Nicke Lignell||MTV3||November 6, 2008|
|France||Êtes-vous plus fort qu’un élève de 10 ans ?||Roland Magdane||M6||September 3, 2007 – November 30, 2007|
|Germany||Das weiß doch jedes Kind!||Cordula Stratmann||Sat.1||July 6, 2007 – 2008|
|Greece||Είσαι πιο έξυπνος από ένα δεκάχρονο
Eísai pio éxypnos apó éna dekáchrono
|Sophia Aliberti||ANT1||January 19, 2008 - June 2009|
Hai Mai Siu Yi Fo
|Leo Ku||TVB||October 25, 2008 – November 16, 2009|
|Hungary||Okosabb vagy mint egy 5-es?||Attila Till||TV2||August 24, 2007|
|Iceland||Ertu skarpari en skólakrakki?||Gunnar Hansson||Skjár 1||October 21, 2007|
|India||Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?||Shahrukh Khan||STAR Plus||April 25, 2008 – July 27, 2008|
|Indonesia||Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Indonesia||Tantowi Yahya
|Global TV||April 4, 2009 – 2010|
|Israel||?'האם אתה חכם יותר מתלמיד כיתה ו
Ha'im ata hakham metalmid kitah vav?
|Eyal Kitzis||Channel 2||July 2007|
|Italy||Sei più bravo di un ragazzino di 5ª?||Massimiliano Ossini
|October 6, 2008 – 2011|
Kuizu anata wa shogaku 5-nensei yori kashikoi no?
|Takashi Suzuki||NTV||April 24, 2011|
|Hitori Gekidan||November 11, 2018|
May 3, 2019
August 8, 2019
|Hitori Gekidan and Ryuta Sato||October 18, 2019 –|
|Latvia||Vai tu esi gudrāks par 5 klasnieku?||Māris Olte||TV3||September 8, 2007|
|Lithuania||Penktokų iššūkis||Andrius Rožickas||TV3||September 2, 2007|
|Malaysia||Are You Smarter than a 4th Grader?||Unknown||TV3||October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2008|
|Mexico||Todo el mundo cree que sabe||Marco Antonio Regil||Televisa||June 13, 2009|
|Mongolia||Ta 5-p aнгийн хүүхдээс ухаантай юу?||Edutainment Tv||January 5, 2013|
|Myanmar||၅တန်းနဲ့ပြိုင် ဘယ်သူနိုင်||Unknown||Channel 7||2013|
|Netherlands||Ben je slimmer dan een kind?||Erik van der Hoff||Net 5||September 2, 2007|
|New Zealand||Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old?||Dominic Bowden||TV2||September 9, 2007 – November 25, 2007|
|Norway||Er du smartere enn en 5. klassing?||Sturla Berg-Johansen||TV2||March 9, 2012|
|Peru||Sabes más que un niño de primaria?||Bruno Pinasco||América Televisión||April 27, 2014|
|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
|TV Puls||October 29, 2007 – 2009|
|Portugal||Sabe Mais Do Que Um Miúdo De 10 Anos?||Jorge Gabriel||RTP1||September 17, 2007 – June 30, 2008|
|Romania||Te crezi mai deştept decât un copil de clasa a 5-a?||Virgil Ianţu||Prima TV||2007–2008|
|Russia||Кто умнее 5-классника?
Kto umnee 5-klassnika?
|Alexandr Pushnoy||CTC||December 9, 2007 – July 20, 2008|
|Serbia||Da li ste pametniji od đaka petaka?||Voja Nedeljković||Fox||September 2007|
|Slovakia||Ste chytrejší ako piatak?||Peter Marcin||TV Markiza||2007|
|South Africa||Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?||Soli Philander||M-Net||January 27, 2008|
|Spain||¿Sabes más que un niño de primaria?||Ramón García||Antena 3||June 28, 2007 – December 1, 2007|
July 14, 2008 – August 18, 2008
|Sri Lanka||Punchi Pahe Man||Vijaya Nandasiri||Sirasa TV||2008|
|Sweden||Smartare än en femteklassare||Lasse Kronér||SVT1||March 19, 2011|
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|
|Thailand||ถ้าคุณแน่? อย่าแพ้ ป.4!
T̄ĥā khuṇ næ̀? Xỳā phæ̂ pōh sī!
|Kanit Sarasin||Channel 3||October 1, 2007 – October 10, 2008|
|ถ้าคุณแน่? อย่าแพ้ เด็ก (ประถม)!
T̄ĥā khuṇ næ̀? Xỳā phæ̂ dĕk (prat̄hom)!
|October 13, 2008 – April 29, 2010|
|Turkey||5'e Gidenden Akıllı Mısın?||Tolga Gariboğlu||Star TV||June 2007|
|Ukraine||Чи розумніший ти за п’ятикласника?
Chy rozumnishiy ty za p'yatyklasnyka?
|Serhiy Prytula||Novyi Kanal||January 6, 2008|
|United Kingdom||Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old?||Noel Edmonds
|Sky One||October 7, 2007 – April 24, 2010|
|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 (now Vie Channel)||June 21, 2009 – June 20, 2010|
|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)|
|Bình Minh (February 16, 2014 – April 13, 2016)||VTV6||February 16, 2014 – April 5, 2015|
|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 2012, Ludia released a free game based on the game show called "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? & Friends" for iOS devices.
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 21 games. A 2-player mode is also available.
Video Slot MachineEdit
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 its 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.
- At the time of filming, Queen Victoria was then the longest-reigning British Monarch. It has since surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II as of 2015.
- Gatekeepers (game show) – A 2010 Singaporean game show with gameplay format borrowed from Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, but was not part of the Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? franchise
- Fretts, Bruce (June 17, 2013). "Eyes on the Prize", TV Guide, pp. 14 and 15.
- 2006-07 primetime wrap
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- "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. Archived from the original on 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
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