Can You Solve This Viral Math Equation?

Logic tests are often designed to twist our brains into seeing new ways of solving a problem, and this viral math equation circulating online is no exception. It has asked participants to “think outside the box” in tallying up the numbers, because there are two correct answers.

“Firstly, think outside the box! This math riddle is not that simple,” Wikr Daily, which has made equation go viral, wrote on Facebook. “Even though there’s usually one right answer for math problems, two common solutions are causing heated debates all over the world.”

According to the Daily Mail, only one in 1,000 people can figure out the second correct solution. Can you?

Still stumped? Here’s some helpful clues:

For the first solution, most people will start with 1 + 4 = 5. Then, you’ll add 2 + 5 to the sum of the equation above (5), giving you a total of 12. You’ll follow the same process for the next line: 3 + 6 = 9 and add 9 to the sum above (12) to get 21. Then calculate 8 + 11 which equals 19, and add that to 21, which equals 40.

While the quick logical answer is 40 (by simply adding each equation with the sum from the previous equation), there’s a second solution to the problem that’s also correct. Can you figure that out?

Here’s how to solve the second solution:

If you multiply 4 x 1 and then add 1, you’ll also get a solution‚ of 5. Following that rule for the other equations, you’d compute 2 + (2 x 5) + 12. Then, 3 + (3 x 6)= 21. And 8 + (8 x 11) which equals 96.

As one Facebook user, who correctly solved the puzzle, explained his work: “The ‘+’ is just a symbol that is being used and we are accustomed to adding the two numbers that sit on either side of the symbol. So in this case the ‘+’ symbol means you multiply the two numbers then you add the first number to that result.”

As with many logic puzzles, you should be looking for a pattern to complete, which explains how the answer of 96 is correct. The pattern is multiply the second number by the first number then add that answer to the answer in the above equation.

So, if you follow the pattern with the missing digits, it’ll lead you to the 8+11 equation and you can solve the puzzle.

With the missing equations:

1+4=5

2+5+12

3+6=21

4+7=32

5+8=45

6+9=60

7+10=77

8+11= 96

Obviously, this equation has gotten mixed views, with many Facebook commenters, well, hating it. “I really don’t like these math quizzes that show 2 sides of a equation not being equal. I’m a math teacher and trying to teach that very concept to my students is trick enough without them seeing this type of quiz on Facebook. No wonder they come up with such off the wall answers for their solutions,” one woman wrote.

“Why cant they just make sure kids can actually add, subtract and multiply,” wrote another.

Well, what do you think? Did you guess any of the answers?

[h/t Daily Mail]

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