Test your knowledge with this tricky math equation.

By Maddy Sims
July 19, 2017

Feel like giving your brain a little exercise today? Keep that mid-week slump at bay by trying to solve a math problem that’s been showing up everywhere. Typically math equations have one correct solution, but this particular problem is an exception. There are two different ways to solve the puzzle, and each method will give you a different answer. Both are correct, but both are pretty tricky to figure out.

For those who love math (or for those who just like a challenge), grab a pencil and some paper, and try to solve this viral riddle. Or if math isn’t your strong suit (you’re not alone), scroll down to see the answers with explanations.

The First Solution:

For the first line, add 1 to 4 to get 5. Moving onto the next line, add 2 and 5 to the previous solution (5) for a total of 12. The third line follows that pattern, meaning that you add 3 + 6 + 12 to get 21. Which means that, for the final line, you would add 8 + 11 + 21 to get a grand total of 40.

Didn’t get 40? Check out the second way to solve the problem.

The Second Solution:

The second method involves adding together the first number and the first number times the second number. To get 5 for the first line, you add 1 to 1 times 4. Similarly, the second line would be 2 + 2(5) = 12. For the third line, add 3 + 3(6) to get 21. Using this method for the final line, add 8 + 8(11) to get a final answer of 96.

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Either way you solve it, both approaches and answers are right.

If you loved giving your mind a little extra work out with this problem, check out these other ways you can keep your mind healthy and sharp.

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