Tricky Math Problem Goes Viral After 7-Year-Old’s Mother Can’t Solve It

A tricky math question on a second grader’s assignment left one mother puzzled. In fact, she was so stumped by the word problem that she turned to the internet for help.

Angie Werner called on fellow mothers to help her solve the question, which she posted to the private Facebook group named “Breastfeeding Mama Talk in Private.”

“Ok, we’re all stumped,” she wrote, according to Popsugar.  “My 2nd graders homework HELP! Everyone is allowed to share.”

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The problem reads: “There are 49 dogs signed up to compete in the dog show. There are 36 more small dogs than large dogs signed up to compete. How many small dogs are signed up to compete?”

Those who attempted to solve the question couldn’t agree on a single answer, but the most common was 36 small dogs.

“Wouldn’t [it] be 49 dogs - 36 small dogs? That make [sic] 13 large dogs. So 13 large dogs + 36 small dogs = 49 dogs together. So the answer is 36,” one user commented on the Facebook post, Popsugar reports. “It’s a trick question lol, right?”

While the answer seems logical, it’s incorrect. Other moms suggested that oddly enough there may be half a dog involved in the answer.

“49-36=13. 13/2=6.5. 36+6.5=42.5. That’s how I did it in my head. Is that the right way to do it? Lol I haven’t done math like this since I was in school!” one mom wrote.

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Despite it being impossible to have half of a dog compete in a dog show, 42.5 is actually the right answer. And the teacher who assigned the difficult question even confirmed that it’s 42.5.

“The district worded it wrong,” Werner, who spoke to her daughter’s teacher, told Popsugar. “The answer would be 42.5, though, if done at an age appropriate grade.”

This isn't the first time an assignment assigned to elementary students has stumped parents. Earlier this week, a question given to fifth-graders in China left parents and students alike outraged and confused.

“If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship’s captain?” the assigned problem read, Newsweek previously reported. 

Turns out, there's no right answer. The school district announced in a statement that they were attempting to challenge students to think critically. 

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