Noel Edmonds (Primetime)
Dick and Dom (Daytime, 2007-2009)
Damian Williams (Daytime, 2009-2010)
Broadcast (Sky 1)
Are you smarter than a 10 year old logo
Primetime: 7 October 2007 – 24 April 2010
Daytime: 12 November 2007 – 26 February 2010
Mark Burnett Productions

Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old? (known as Are You Smarter Than Your 10 Year Old? in the final series) was the British version of the American show, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?


In each game, the contestant (an adult) was asked a series of up to eleven questions, spanning ten subjects (such as History, Maths or Science) taken from textbooks for 6 to 10 year-old students. Each question was associated with an age level; there were two questions per age group, from 6 to 10. The player could answer the questions in any order, and each correct answer raised their cumulative amount of winnings to the next level. There was a safe point after five correct answers, guaranteeing the player the value of the fifth correct answer, and after ten questions, players could take a jackpot question for the top prize.

Money TreeEdit

Question No. Value
Daytime Primetime
First Two Series Final Series
1 £250
2 £500
3 £750 £1,000
4 £1,000 £2,500
5 £1,500 £5,000
6 £2,500 £10,000
7 £5,000 £15,000
8 £7,500 £25,000
9 £15,000 £50,000
10 £25,000 £100,000
11 (Jackpot Question) £50,000 £250,000 £500,000


Along the way, the player could be assisted by a "classmate", one of five ten-year-old children, in answering the questions. The classmate, chosen for two questions at a time, attempted to answer the question at the same time as the contestant, writing their answer on a virtual blackboard hidden from the contestant's view. The player would choose a child to come and stand on the podium beside them and they answered the question at the same time as the adult. They would lock in their answer and the adult was given the option of copying the child's answer or peeking at it, and if they locked in their own answer and got the question wrong, they could be saved by the child's answer providing it was correct.

Prior to the show, the children were provided with workbooks which contained a variety of material, some of which could be used in the questions asked in the game. One of the producers, Hannah Dobson, was quoted as saying, "A lot of it they've seen at school, it’s just refreshing their memories, really". However, when pushed as to whether the packs contained a random selection of the syllabus or a very specific selection of information, she replied, "I would say it’s somewhere in the middle." It can be argued that the questions were actually not representative of the general knowledge of the average 10-year old, however, as the TimesOnline article stated, to have entitled the show "Are you Smarter Than a 10 Year Old Who’s Been Hand-picked for High Academic Achievement and Been Given an Answer Pack While You Haven’t" would not have been as catchy as the current title. Of course, the children were not immune from getting the answer wrong as well, and did sometimes enter the incorrect answers.


Contestants had three aids they cold use during their game. Each of the following cheats could only be used once in any game (up to, but not including, the final question):

  • Peek – The player was shown their classmate's answer and could choose whether to go along with it or not. There was no obligation and the player was free to lock in an alternative answer.
  • Copy – The player used their classmate's answer, regardless of whether it was right or wrong.
  • Save – If the player answered incorrectly but their classmate was correct, they were said to have been saved and the game continued. The player could only use this cheat after supplying an answer.

Once all three cheats were used, the children no longer played an active role in the game. There were no cheats available for the final question regardless of how many, if any, were still available by this point in the game.

Jackpot QuestionEdit

The rules changed slightly for the jackpot question. The player was only shown the subject of the question before deciding if they would continue or drop out. This question would always be for a ten year old regardless of the subject. If the player chose to see the question, they were no longer eligible to drop out and had to answer the question, with no assistance from the classmates. A wrong answer on the question would cause the contestant to drop back down to the prize for five correct answers.

If the contestant got any question wrong (and was not saved), they would "flunk out", and a contestant doing so in the first five questions would lose all their winnings (if they passed the fifth question, they would instead drop down to that amount). For this reason, they could choose to drop out at any point during the game, which entitled them to leave the game with the winnings they had accumulated, if any.

If, at any point during the game, the player chose to drop out or was flunked out, they had to face the camera and state, "I am not smarter than a/my 10 year old." However, if the final question was answered correctly, the contestant had the opportunity to claim, "I am smarter than a/my 10 year old."


Based on the American game show of the same name by Mark Burnett


David Vanacore

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