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Woman is smarter than a 5th grader, but it’s a secret

October 19, 2009

A Los Angeles woman kept it a secret from her husband for more than four months that she is smarter than a 5th grader, and more than that, she won $250,000 on a game show by proving how smart she is.jeff-foxworthy

Elizabeth Deister taped an appearance earlier this year on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” and she planned to watch it at home with her husband on Monday, when it aired on television. But those plans were interrupted and the Deisters were not going to get a chance to watch the broadcast, because it will be preempted by a telecast of the Los Angeles Dodgers versus Philadephia Phillies baseball playoff game.

So Deister did what any sensible woman would do. She invited a TV news crew into her house on Monday, and had them show her husband’s reaction live on the Fox “Good Day L.A.” morning newscast, as the couple watched a DVD copy of her appearance on the game show. Sure enough, he hollered when he saw her win. Watch a video of that moment from “Good Day L.A.” here.

“I thought it would be so much more exciting to have him watch it than to tell him,” Deister told the TV news reporter.

To win $250,000, Deister answered 10 questions in a row, and got the bonus question, “In 1804, an army composed mainly of former slaves defeated their colonial masters to form what modern Caribbean country?” The answer: Haiti.

Well, she did much better than this former contestant on the show who when asked by host Jeff Foxworthy which European country has its capital in Budapest said, “This may be a stupid question, but I thought Europe was a country.”

With episodes like that, it might not be long before the following show comes to a TV network across the pond, “Are You Smarter than an American?”

Comments

“With episodes like that, it might not be long before the following show comes to a TV network across the pond, “Are You Smarter than an American?”

I’m getting really tired of this anti-American elitism that Europeans have. Guess what? There are idiots in every country on this planet. Stop acting like everyone in the UK has an IQ of over 150.

Posted by Alessandro | Report as abusive
 

Alessandro, I respect having some pride in the good ole’ USA, but that clip was deplorable. The fact that this lady has scooted by her whole life assuming that Europe was a country but never having the mild curiosity to investigate further is a testament to our education system. True, she is not representative of the American populace, and neither are the idiots interviewed on “Jaywalking.” However, shows like this wouldn’t EXIST unless it hadn’t been made painfully obvious to the networks that the United States DELIVERS when it comes to showcasing stupidity.
It’s not Anti-American or pompous to make a remark like the writer.

Posted by Kathleen | Report as abusive
 

“I’m getting really tired of this anti-American elitism that Europeans have. Guess what? There are idiots in every country on this planet. Stop acting like everyone in the UK has an IQ of over 150.”

You miss the point. All other countries consider teaching geography and history more than learning ones own states and significant events. Sure other countries have morons, but when American after American (beauty queens, Presidents [Bush], athletes, politicians, and here game show contestants) — TIME AFTER TIME — repeat these asinine, completely-ignorant-of-the-world-around- them statements (I thought Europe was a country) we should be ashamed enough to correct our educational system.

Posted by Ugly Americans | Report as abusive
 

The UK isn’t Europe; just one small kingdom in it, genius.

Posted by Jessica | Report as abusive
 

As a European in Asia I’m also bored of the Anti-American vibe on international sites. In this case I don’t think there is any point throwing stones Jade Goody and her East Anglia comment on Big Brother pretty much puts the score at 1 all.

 

@Alessandro – to make the comment you did, just proves everyones point!!

Posted by AshBibiUK | Report as abusive
 

In the age of too much, too fast, too soon, its no wonder why most kids in America aren’t smarter than a 5th grader…5th graders aren’t even smarter than a 4th graders with the lack of funds for schools, underpaid teachers, overworked teachers, VIDEO GAMES, in-your-face pop culture EVERYWHERE (I mean, why do I need to know what celebrity X is doing ALL of the time on CNN?) parents not being able to spend more time with their children to go over their homework and teach them good moral values because of working overtime just to pay the bills, tend to lead to wayward and not-so-smart kids.

My wife is from Europe and I know first hand that families DO have time to spend with their children and make sure that they do their studies and limit their recreational time until thier homework is done.

Too much video game playing and waywardness in America’s youth is leading this country right into the toilet.

Posted by i,robert | Report as abusive
 

WHILE WATCHING ONE OF THE TV SHOWS, YOU TOLD A CONTESTANT THAT SHE WAS WRONG ON THE BONUS QUESTION
THE QUESTION WAS “WHAT PRESIDENT SUCCEEDED ABE LINCOLN. SHE SAID JOHNSON, YOU TOLD HER SHE WAS WRONG AND THAT IT WAS HANNIBAL HAMLIN. HAMLIN NEVER SUCCEEDED LINCOLN BECAUSE AT THE TIME OF LINCOLNS DEATH, ANDREW JOHNSON WAS THE VICE PRESIDENT AS HE REPLACED HAMLIN IN MARCH OF 1865 AND LINCOLN WAS NOT KILLED UNTIL APRIL 1865. YOU OWE THAT CONTESTANT THAT MONEY AS SHE WAS ABSOLUTELY 100% CORRECT. AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT CORRECTION ON AIR IF POSSIBLE…

Posted by BRUNO FUCCI | Report as abusive
 

The Europe comment was reprehensible, without doubt, but this type of mistake is judged without proper consideration of context. Many of these ‘stupid American’ examples have to do with world geography. While I do not wish to diminish the importance of said subject, it is simply less relevant to an American than it is to a European.

We are physically quite isolated. Most of us do not live near another country and none of us live near two. Just as there is more immediacy to happenings inside your house than in your neighbor’s, nearly everyone weighs news of 200 km away as more important than that of 2000 km away. For the American, that news is almost always in America, whereas for the European, this is not necessarily the case. (Were the contestant to think that Austin was the capital of the U.S., that would be a whole other kind of stupid.) As such, the European will be more comfortable and familiar with news from outside his country’s borders, which then translates to places even farther away.

Look, the very fact she thought Europe was a country is evidence in my favor. I’ve seen the clip and this woman, while not brilliant, was not mentally handicapped. She has, evidently, managed to navigate her entire life without this strange lack of knowledge directly hurting her. In other words, it’s just not terribly useful to know much about Europe in her life.

Now, I’m not saying all learning should be restricted to immediately useful knowledge and clearly, she would have benefited from having this knowledge. I am also not, in any way, justifying her ignorance. However, the importance of this knowledge clearly varies by locale, and any judgment based on its absence should take this into account.

To those of you who say that technology has nullified America’s geographical distance, you’re really only talking about the more educated echelons. To those of you who say, because of the U.S.’s place in world politics, we should be more aware of world geography, ok, you have a point. But that’s a bit on the idealistic side, as most of us are not involved with our political placement.

In full disclosure, I’m a fairly educated person that still confuses Hong Kong and Taiwan. This comment is meant to rationalize my shortcomings and subsequent embarrassment.

Posted by tarrou | Report as abusive
 

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