Smoot matches wits with the grammar-school set

BERKELEY — “I am George Smoot, and I am smarter than a 5th grader.”
Smoot’s shout-out came after winning the $1 million jackpot on the Fox program, “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” which aired Friday, Sept. 18. After an intense “memory search,” in Smoot’s words, he correctly answered the final question, In which state is Acadia National Park located? The answer: Maine.

“It was a lot of fun to be on the show,” Smoot said in an e-mail from Korea (the show was taped earlier this year). “I like and respect the show’s host, Jeff Foxworthy, very much and connected with him well. There are links to some of my roots. The whole experience was very much like going to a great party.”

Smoot, the Nobel Prize-winning UC Berkeley astrophysicist, was only the second person in the show’s history to correctly answer all 11 questions leading to the top prize, Foxworthy told the audience.

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