Last night we watched "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" and darned if the contestant....a lovely young lady named Megan, who is working on her Ph.D in Neuroscience....didn't clear the half million dollar level without breaking a sweat, and having only used one of her cheats.
Naturally the burning question was, was she going to go for the million dollar prize? We've never seen anyone do that before. Normally those few who make it to that level choose to bail, taking home the $500K, for if they miss, they drop all the way down to a comparatively disappointing $25K.
By golly, not Megan! The rule is one gets to see the category for the question before making a decision. The category was US History, which she had already identified as one of her best subjects, and the $300K question (IIRC...it might have been the one prior to that) was "During which war was the White House burned?" Megan beamed like a lighthouse, knowing the answer instantly (as did Don; for dummies like me, it was the War of 1812).
So when she saw the subject was US History, she pointed out that $25K is a good day's work in any case, so bring it on!
The crowd cheered, and host Jeff Foxworthy perked up too, as for all we know this is the first time anyone's gone for the Big One.
A silence fell over the audience as the question was revealed: "Who was the pilot who first broke the sound barrier?"
Megan's face fell. She had no idea, and after muttering and mumbling, finally sighed and guessed Howard Hughes, obviously aware that wasn't the correct answer.
Don knew, though. As soon as the question flashed up on the screen he said, "Chuck Yeager." Okay, I couldn't bring the name to mind, but once I heard it, I recognized it. Turned out Megan's father had also known the correct answer, which must have been intensely frustrating for him. Bless her heart, she took her loss with good grace, stoutly insisting there's not a darn thing wrong with $25K, and cheerfully telling the television audience that though she might be working on her Ph.D, apparently she is not smarter than a fifth grader. Megan's a class act.
Don't you know she's in for some serious ribbing from her fellow classmates and the professors?
Personally, I'm with Dmitry, who - when I was relating this at the dinner table afterward - immediately protested that that wasn't a US History question! I suppose it technically is, seeing as how it was an action performed by an American, but it does seem to me the category "US History" should have more to do with the events that have shaped our nation, and those involved in them.
If anything done by any American qualifies as US History, then I fail to see how "Who wrote the poem 'Annabelle Lee'?" wouldn't make the cut. Edgar Allen Poe was American, after all. Or "Who won the 1977 Daytona 500?" Why wouldn't they be viable questions, as well?
Well, it's not like the show really wants to hand out a million smackeroos.
Oh, and it was bad enough that Don immediately knew the answer, but as soon as I told the question at the table, Dan looked up from his plate and answered, "Chuck Yeager."