Million dollar questions from "Smarter than a 5th Grader"?

In “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” to date, there have been about five people who’ve actually made it to see the million dollar question. In the episode I viewed, it was something about how many bicuspids are in the human mouth. What other million dollar questions have there been?

Under the category of “U.S. History” the question was: “Who was the first Secretary of the Treasury?”
Both I and the contestant knew it, but he had already taken the $500k.

There was one about Vivaldi.

Was that like “Who was the composer of the four seasons?” or something?

Yes, I think so.


Wait a minute… you’re a 99er!? Ahoy there! :slight_smile:

Unless your teeth are messed up (or you’re completely stupid and don’t even know what a bicuspid is), how do you get this one wrong? Couldn’t one just run their tongue over their teeth and count?

I do think I saw that episode - was it with the Korean(?) lawyer. I felt really sorry for Jeff Foxworthy - they asked a mere 12 questions and he had to fill 44 minutes around them.

There’s no way I could ever get on that show - I wouldn’t be able to talk out “what is the largest desert in Africa?” question for a minute and a half, nor listen to Jeff try to talk me out of my answer.

They could if they knew what bicuspids were.

Took me a minute to figure out what you were talking about! Egads, has it really been 8 years? When’s the reunion? :wink:

I guess both he and I fall into the “completely stupid” category :stuck_out_tongue: …except he had the highest SAT score on the show.

I think that one of the points of the show is that there’s a lot of information that was only useful to us to pass a test. I haven’t thought about which teeth are which since 7th grade Health class.

I don’t think you can say that not knowing which teeth are the bicuspids makes you “completely stupid”. How many people need to know this, are in a position to learn this, and really think it’ll matter to them at any point in their future?

I would guess the majority of people don’t know which tooth is called what. They might know some of the terms, like ‘canines’ or ‘molars’ but they wouldn’t necessarily know exactly which ones those are.

I had to look up on wikipedia to find out which ones are the bicuspids, and there I discover that they also have a different name, so that’s an additional level of potential confusion.

PLUS, if that Wikipedia diagram is any indication, it seems difficult to me to be able to tell bicuspids from molars by tongue-feel alone.

Well, I remember being taught this in school. Your bicuspids are the two teeth behind each canine tooth. Since you have four canines you have 8 bicuspids. The way I remember being taught back then (and yes, it was in grade school) was that for each canine you have 2 incisors, 2 bicuspids, and 3 molars. Since you have four canines, that makes 8, 8, and 12 of each.

You also knew the order of teeth from front-to-back of the mouth because it was a very familiar acronym in the 1970’s - ICBM. :wink:

Hmm, looking at the join dates of the posters in this thread, it’s a blast from the past. It’s a conversation we all(except garygnu) could have had about six years ago. Well, if the show had been around then of course.


And if you didn’t remember any of that disposable information you’d be “completely stupid”?

I never actually watch that show, but if these are examples of the million dollar questions I’d have to say that they’re compromising the show’s title a bit. No 5[sup]th[/sup] grader is going to know the first Secretary of the Treasury or who Antonio Vivaldi was.

And I think the vast majority of people wouldn’t even know what a bicuspid is, let alone how many you have. And I don’t think a 5[sup]th[/sup] grader would either…

The way I learned the teeth is the 2-1-2-3 pattern for humans and other old world primates. Each quadrant of the mouth has 2 incisors, I canine, 2 premolars and 3 molars.
IIRC, new world monkeys have a 2-1-3-3 dental pattern.

I beg to differ, it seems to me, the first Secretary Of State would be something a fifth grader would learn/have to memorize in school, as well as knowing Vivaldi…

all of us just forgot about it because once that test was passed, so was the real necessity of that information.

When I was ten years old in fifth grade, we did the Hokey Pokey. I don’t think we studied the first measure of Baroque music. And I don’t remember hearing anything at all about the Department of the Treasury. I’m sure I’d heard about Alexander Hamilton, but probably mostly for his duel with Aaron Burr — and being one of those Fathers-of-our-Country names, like Madison and such.

I have 8 years of grade school, 4 years of high school and 6 + years of college aand an advanced university degree and in all that time I can never remember the name of Vivaldi appearing in any subject matter ever. Although I do remember a talented young lady singing Hernando’s Hideaway for us in music appreciation.