Mathematician stumps the internet with correct answer to math problem

Would you be able to solve it?

Have you ever been bored so much that you turned to a math equation to keep yourself entertained?

Here’s one for you.

Math problems like this are not new.

On social media, you may have seen it a few times.

And once every two or three years, it goes viral again to test both kids and adults in solving this grade school math problem. Millions of people have already solved this tricky equation on Facebook.

Funny enough, this simple equation has even sparked debates around the world about how the math problem should be solved.

Are you one of the people who tried solving this too? It’s a trick question.

Here is the tricky and viral math problem:

6÷2 (1+2)

It may seem complicated because of the different answers, but it’s really just a simple math problem that gets confusing because of how you solve it.

It’s actually very easy to solve this problem, according to YouTube channel MindYourDecision.

As described in the video:

“I explain how you would get the correct answer using the modern interpretation of the order of operations, as well as how you would get a different answer given historical usage of the division symbol.”

Remember the PEMDAS Rule

To solve this math problem, we need to refresh our memory about the PEMDAS rule and the order of operations.

Order of operations:


Parentheses / Brackets

Exponents / Orders

Multiplication / Division

Addition / Subtraction

(If the same precedence, then solve left to right)

This is how you solve the problem now that you know what the problem is.

6÷2 (1+2) = 9, and here’s why

The answer to the math problem 6÷2 (1+2) is 9!

What led us to this conclusion?

The breakdown is below.

Based on PEMDAS, the math problem should look like this:

6÷2× (1+2)

Now, P stands for parentheses, so the first thing that you would do is 1 + 2 = 3, hence:

6÷2× (3) or 6÷2× (3)

As with the PEMDAS rule, multiplication and division have the same priority, so we should evaluate this from left to right.

6÷2 = 3 then 3 x 3 = 9

The debate

In addition, MindYourDecisions tried a different order of operations based on an old textbook discussing 1917’s historical usage.

Some people solved the problem in this way:

According to the order of operations, the one in the parenthesis comes first

6÷2 (1+2) = 6÷2 (3)

After multiplying 2 and 3 you get 6, so 6÷6 = 1.

Although the old computation has a valid justification, the correct answer would still be 9 if we interpret the equation today.

Answering these tricky math problems is a great way to spend your free time.

In addition, you are also learning how to solve problems strategically.

How did you do on the first try? Did you get the right answer?

Get the full rundown of how to solve the problem in the video below.

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