Saturday, September 12, 2009

As of a few weeks ago, to count down to the primetime "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" finale and its syndication premiere, I'm blogging some episodes that I haven't done before until now. This recap comes from March 27, 2008:

First up was Andrew (who is a financial advisor). Cody was his first partner and here were the categories:

His first category was Spelling

The name of which month of the year comes first alphabetically?

He was correct with April. He elected to move on to 2nd Grade Grammar:

What is the subject of the sentence “Sierra baked a cake for Olivia”?

A: A pronoun

B: A proper noun
C: A common noun

Andrew was pretty sure the subject was a common noun…he was referring to the cake, but the subject was Sierra, which is actually a proper noun. Cody…wrote down pronoun instead, so ANDREW LOST THE THOUSAND RIGHT BACK AND BECAME A TOTAL FLUNK OUT. But just for funsies, he then got to try what would’ve been his Million Dollar Question in the category of 5th Grade Math. BTW, Math was his favorite subject:

If Sierra has 10 index cards numbered 11 through 20 and she draws one card, what is the probability that the card will have a prime number on it?

He would’ve guessed 40%...and would’ve beaten Kathy Cox to the punch on winning the million. Instead of winning all that money, he ended up leaving with not a penny of it.

Trying to do much better was Tommy Labouda from Evanston, IL (who is a small business owner). After he chose Sierra as his first partner, here were his categories:

His first question came from 2nd Grade Vocabulary.

Which of the following words means “in addition”?

A: To
B: Two
C: Too

He came up with the right spelling of “too” with no trouble. Tommy then moved back to 1st Grade and this English question:

In the English alphabet, how many consonants are there between the letters E and O?

He guessed eight…correct. His second classmate was Olivia and tried Anatomy third.

If Olivia bumps her “funny bone”, what joint did she hit?

Despite being less than 100% sure, he went with the elbow…yes indeed. Next stop was 3rd Grade Earth Science.

T or F: Adding salt to water lowers its freezing point.

Tommy used his Peek; Olivia wrote down True. Seeing as Olivia locked in her answer quickly, he agreed with her…right. For his third partner, he brought up Nathan. For \$25,000, he selected 3rd Grade Measurements:

In Roman numerals, the letter L means 50. But what unit of measurement does L stand for in the Metric System?

He locked in liter…Sierra spelled it as “leater”, but everybody in the classroom got it right for \$25,000. He completed the 2nd Grade row with U.S. Geography:

Omaha is the most populous city in what U.S. state?

Home of the College World Series, Tommy knew that would be Nebraska for \$50,000! After selecting Mackenzie to join him next, only the 4th and 5th Grade subjects remained. He opted to try the 4th Grade U.S. History question next:

The beginning of the U.S. Civil War was marked by the April 12, 1861 Confederate attack on what Union fort in South Carolina?

Since he saw Mackenzie come up with an answer fast, he Copied it- Fort Sumter. That was…right for \$100,000! To up that figure by \$75K, here was the 4th Grade Math question, also a Classroom Club Question written by Jake from Hesby Oaks School:

T or F: The only factors of 9 are 1 and 9.

He chose False…3’s also a factor of 9, putting Tommy at \$175,000! Cody now got a chance to possibly save him on one of the final two questions in regulation. The 5th Grade subject Tommy chose to possibly win \$300,000 with was Social Studies:

To become a U.S. Senator, a person must be at least how many years old?

He took a shot with 35, which Cody also said…NO! I would’ve missed that one, too. It was 30, which Mackeznie said. That sent him home with \$25,000.