She's smarter — and richer

When Georgia Superintendent Kathy Cox agreed to go on “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,” some questioned her smarts. What a way to look stupid in public. Well, Cox is the first contestant to win the $1 miillion prize. She plans to give the money to two state schools for the deaf and one for the blind.

On the show, which was recorded on Aug. 6 in Los Angeles, Ms. Cox, a former high school history teacher, correctly answered 10 questions, all of which were drawn from elementary school curricula. That took her to the million-dollar question: Who was the longest-reigning British monarch? She answered Queen Victoria.

The toughest question, Ms. Cox said, was the sixth, which drew on fourth-grade world geography: Costa Rica borders two countries. Nicaragua is one. What is the other? She answered Panama.

Cox “agreed to go on the show to send a message to students that it was cool to be smart.” She went for the $1 million, risking the $500,000 she’d already won, because the alternative was to “drop out.” She wasn’t going to say those words.

About Joanne