This math problem is stumping everyone: Can you solve it?

Posted at 12:28 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 15:28:41-04

When you think of having fun, math may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But there are some math problems that people just can’t seem to get enough of.

Case in point? This seemingly simple problem that has the internet stumped:


Do you think you know the answer? If so, you’re definitely one of the clever ones!

In the 1980s, 90 percent of people who tried to solve this problem got it correct. Today, a Japanese study reports only 60 percent of the people get it right.

Why? MindYourDecisions reports that most people make a common computing mistake with the fraction (1/3) in the problem. At first glance, you’d probably assume that the 1/3 is meant to be a fraction representing one-third. But, if you put the problem into a calculator or Google search, the slash would be interpreted as a division symbol, which would change the order of operations used to solve the problem, producing a different answer.

The answer to the problem is...





Watch the video below, which explains the common mistake that is made and how to correctly solve the problem.

Did you get the correct answer? Congrats, you’re a mathematical genius! And if you guessed wrong, don’t worry — we’re right there with you scratching our heads.