Mum stumped by tricky homework question – and even woman with maths PhD can’t solve it
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A maths question meant for seven-year-old children has caused a lot of confusion on the internet.
Earlier this week, mum Teresa Hopper from Norfolk, took to Facebook to ask for help with a problem in her child’s homework.
She shared the tricky question in the group Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas. Alongside an image of it, she wrote: “I hate homework. Please help!
“Is the answer to a) & b) the same or am I missing something?!”
The maths problem read: “Karla says: ‘I have three hundreds counters, 17 tens counters and 16 ones counters.’
“a) Can she make two equal three-digit numbers? If so, draw the counters to show them.
“b) Can she make two equal three-digit numbers if she had to use all her counters? If so, draw the counters to show them.”
Can you figure it out?
Some thought the question was rather straightforward, but others were left bemused.
One woman, who claimed to have a PhD in maths confessed that even she was unsure about the answer.
“I have a PhD in maths, and I have no idea what this question is asking. Unless there’s a diagram to go with it, or more explanation somewhere else,” she commented.
Another wrote: “I’m 45 and I can’t work it out lol.”
A third added: “I’m lost.”
After working on the problem, Teresa and her child eventually submitted the answers as 172 for a, and 243 for b.
The parent later confirmed that the teacher had marked these as correct.
Phew! Thank goodness for that.