A Very Odd Equation

Oct 19, 2012

RAY: This next puzzler is mathematical -- and it's also nice, easy and short. Get out a pencil and write down the following equation: 76 = 24. It's obviously incorrect.

Now, I want you to correct this equation so that it makes sense, by moving the four digits around. You got four digits here, 7, 6, 2, and 4, but you can't introduce any new signs -- plus sign, minus, division, so on. You got an equal sign and that's it. Imagine that the four digits are written on four slips of paper. Do what you want with them and make the equation make sense.

RAY: Here’s how you solve it. Let's say you moved the numbers around, and so instead of saying 76 equals 24, what if you changed it to read, 72 equals 46.

TOM: That doesn't work.

RAY: What if you turn the 6 upside down, so you have 72 equals 49?

TOM: That doesn't work, either.

RAY: But 72 equals 49 has promise because if you slide that two up, then you get seven squared, and seven squared equals 49. Pretty good, huh? So who's our winner?

TOM: Our winner this week is Robert Munch from Warren, Michigan. Congratulations, Robert! 

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