A simple math problem that’s tripping people up on linkedin

I’m a member of lInkedin.com.  From time to time, my connections post math problems and brain teasers. I love brain puzzles so I find them hard to resist, even the simple ones.

This simple but brilliant math problem was posted by Urmil Gohil. It’s simple because it uses small whole numbers and the 4 basic math operators. About 54,000 answers were submitted.

6 – 1 x 0 + 2 ÷ 2

It’s brilliant because many otherwise intelligent people are getting the wrong answer. What’s your answer? (You knew I’d ask that, right?)

How did you get your answer?

You may have reasoned this way: Since there are no parentheses, you execute from left to right.

6 – 1 = 5
5 x 0 = 0
0 + 2 = 2
2 ÷ 2 = 1

If you reasoned this way and got 1, you have the correct answer!

If you didn’t get 1, no worries. Sometimes I get them wrong too.  (Grrrr… I don’t like getting anything wrong, but it happens.)

I noticed that some people are adding parentheses to the problem, which leads to the wrong answer.

You were bold enough to try and learned something today. There will be more chances at problem-solving for both of us. Take care!

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