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This math equation is stumping millions on Facebook. Can you solve it?

The internet is full of these math problems that people just can’t seem to solve. Can you figure out this math equation?[1]


Can you solve this math equation?

If you’re anything like me, math isn’t your strongest skillset. So when I find these math equations online, I try my very best to figure them out! Of course, I know it’s good for my mind to at least try, but I am often left completely stumped by the end of it all and give up.

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Hopefully you have better luck with this math equation than I did!


Here it is

Apparently, only one person out of one thousand will be able to solve this math problem, which sounds like a stretch, but maybe it’s true. Are you that one in one thousand? As posted by Randall Jones on Facebook, over 1.1 million people are completely stumped by the equation. Some think it has more than one possible answer.


Check it out:

Challenging math equation riddle

Breaking down the math equation

Here is the math problem in full again.


1 + 4 = 5


2 + 5 = 12


3 + 6 = 21


8 + 11 = ?


So, what is the answer to 8+11?


The post Randall made on Facebook with this confusing math equation has most people saying the answer is either 40 or 96. But, the question is, which is the correct answer?

Have you figured it out?

If not, and your as stumped as I was, read on for the right answer!

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Here’s the solution to this seemingly impossible math equation!

So, turns out it is both 40 and 96! Depending how you look at it all.

You can use addition or multiplication in order to reach the answers depending on how you view the problem.

If you want 2 + 5 to equal 30, and, 3 + 6 to equal 21, something is obviously missing. Here’s what the most common suggestions are:

If the answer is 40

Add the solution to the previous line, to the numbers on the next line. Here’s an example:

1 + 4 = 5

5 + 2 + 5 = 12

12 + 3 + 6 = 21

21 + 8 + 11 = 40

If the answer is 96

Multiply the first number by the second number. Then, add the outcome to the first number. Here’s an example:

1 + (1×4) = 5

2+ (2×5) = 12

3 + (3×6) =21

8 + (8×11) = 96

Just like that! Did you find this math equation easy? Let us know in the comments!

Want some more puzzle, riddles and math tricks? Check these out!

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  1. People are freaking out over what looks like a simple math problem. Indy100. April 21, 2016.