So many people enjoy solving puzzles and riddles, but a surprising number of people feel overwhelmed when it comes to solving math problems.
You’ve undoubtedly come across Good Will Hunting, the 1997 Academy Award-winning film starring the late Robin Williams, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck. Quickly summarized, the film revolves around Will Hunting, a fictional, tortured genius. Despite his intellect and eidetic memory, Hunting works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA as a humble janitor.
One day on a blackboard in a hallway presented by a Fields Medal award-winning professor named Gerald Lambeau, he spotted a math problem. This math problem in the story took two MIT professors two years to solve. In just one day Hunting solves the dilemma, anonymously. The professor finally learns that the solution was written by Hunting, and the plot kicks off. Within the math culture, this story has been referenced and even memorized countless times.
Now this is a story that rarely happens in real life, but it’s still one of the most mind-blowing ones.
If your head is not in the game, the best and most smart ones are going to throw you for a loop. As for me, I love math, but it took me several years to get to this point. I hated math at school, but I chose, as an older person to take it as a challenge and learn it. I discovered, to my surprise, that it can actually be enjoyable!
Can you solve the following riddle:
You’re partly right if you look at it and come up with 40.
The first issue: 1 + 4 = 5
The second issue: 2 + 5 (add the sum from the previous problem, 5) = 12 = 12
The third issue: 3 + 9 (add the sum from the previous problem, 12) = 21
The fourth issue: 8 + 11 (add the sum from the previous problem, 21) = 40
And yet, there’s more.
There is a second answer to this riddle and that one is… 96!
The first issue: 1 x 4 + 1 = 5
The second issue: 2 x 5 + 2 = 12
The third issue: 3 x 6 + 3 = 21
The fourth issue: 8 x 11 + 8 = 96