Skip to Content
Photo 48014219 © Kiosea39 |

Only one in 1,000 can solve this math problem – Can you?

Math problem brainteasers tend to be much trickier than the puzzles where you have to spot the difference. You must remember arithmetic from your childhood, pay close attention to detail, and think creatively.

The math equation below will require lots of creative thinking. It has two correct answers. Most people can figure out the more obvious answer but the makers of the puzzle (Go Tumble) say only 1 in 1,000 people can find the second answer.

If one of your answers was 40 then you’re absolutely correct! If you add the sum of the first equation to the addends in the second equation, your answer is the sum of the second equation. Here’s what this pattern looks like:

First equation: 1 + 4 = 5.

Second equation:  2 + 5 (plus the previous sum of 5) = 12.

Third equation: 3 + 9 (plus the previous sum of 12) = 21.

Fourth equation: 8 + 11 (plus the previous sum of 21) = 40.

Once you identify the pattern, finding an answer of 40 isn’t too difficult. But can you identify another pattern among these equations and find the second answer? It’s pretty tricky so you’ll have to think outside the box.

Here’s one more look at the puzzle before I give you the answer. Remember, the key to the solution is finding a pattern among the numbers.

The second answer is 96! If you multiply the numbers on the left of the equal sign, you’ll get a product. Take that product and add the first number from the equation to it. That sum will be the number on the right side of the equals sign.

First equation: 1 x 4 + 1 = 5

Second equation: 2 x 5 + 2 = 12

Third equation: 3 x 6 + 3 = 21

Fourth equation: 8 x 11 + 8 = 96

More challenging brainteasers

Spot the danger: If you can’t find these 3 snakes, you could get bitten IRL

Brainteaser: How fast can you solve this ‘simple’ puzzle?

Optical illusion: Spot the butterfly in this tricky image

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook