Fun Math Challenge: Can You Solve This Tricky Problem Without Using a Calculator?

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who enjoy math and people who loathe (fear) math. As it turns out, most of us seem to fear math, or at least we did when we were in school. I was no scholar, believe me, and math was a tricky subject for me. For one thing, it requires a lot of concentration, and I seemed to daydream a lot when I was in math class. The good news is that I’m not alone. It’s a rare breed of person who loves math. It just takes something special, I think. With that said, most of us who survived math in school grew up to enjoy a fun puzzle occasionally.

I’m not talking about trigonometry or advanced algebra, but some simple math problems give us a kind of nostalgia. If it’s not too difficult, it can be fun and rewarding to solve them. In the problem below, the answer isn’t as obvious as it seems. Many people think they can get this one right, but I’ll admit to struggling with it myself. I actually got out a piece of paper and tried to figure it out and I couldn’t do it without help. See if you can figure it out. If not, don’t worry, we’re going to give you some clues down below.

What answer did you get? If you’re still struggling, I’m going to give you a clue. One of the things we learned in school was the acronym PEMDAS: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. This acronym reminds us of the order that we solve problems in: Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. Now that I’ve reminded you of that, take another crack at it. If you can’t figure it out, scroll down for the answer.

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Using PEMDAS, there are no parenthesis or exponents, so go straight to multiplication:

25 x 0 = 0

That makes this the actual problem:

50 + 50 – 0 + 2 + 2 = ?

The correct answer is 104. How did you do?

Image: Pixabay



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