'Mind-blowing' Math Problem Goes Viral As Hardly Anyone Gets It Right

A tricky math problem is going viral, after it seems hardly anyone is able to get it right.

A man shared the puzzle on TikTok, under the name Walk Off The Earth, where it's since blown up due to the amount of people who have got it wrong.

He captioned the clip, uploaded on Wednesday, "there's no way you get this right!" adding "mind absolutely blown."

The equation is presented to a willing participant, under the heading "how much is it?"

The amount starts off at 1,000, with the task to add a column of seven numbers to it.

The entire equation is 1,000 + 40 + 1,000 + 30 + 1,000 + 20 + 1,000 + 10.

A second piece of paper covers up the remaining figures, as the question master slowly moves it down the page revealing the numbers to add up in sequence.

A woman off-camera calls out the answer at each stage of the problem, and she gives the final amount as 5,000.

But when the paper is removed, it's revealed the correct answer is in fact 4,100.

"What?!" the woman cries, as she says "I don't get it."

It seems the woman stumbled at the last hurdle, when she added ten to 4,090, incorrectly saying 5,000.

The person who posted the video later attempted to explain why so many fall for the trick, saying: "It took us five times to figure it out. It's some kind of slide of hand trick that messes with your head."

But she's not the only one who's tripped up, as scores of people admitted they made the same mistake.

"Damn! I also added it up incorrectly and then had to pause it and recount," RhiannonRhino said.

And it seemed the woman put a few people off, with Call me Kim explaining: "I think I would have been correct if I hadn't heard her say 5,000."

Providing a succinct explanation, Kaitlin P wrote: "She jumped from the tens to the thousands missing the one hundreds lol."

While Aussie Ky confessed: "It took me three goes to understand what was happening here. And I work in finance."

And Adam Linney joked: "Hahah I need my banker to make that mistake so I can get $1000 for every 100 I put in lol."

Although clearly unimpressed, Ianinprice299 wrote: "I worry about the amount of people who get confused by this."

Teacher writing on a blackboard
Stock image of a teacher writing on a blackboard. A math problem is going viral online as scores of people can't get it right. jittawit.21/Getty iStock


Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts