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Facebook Math

This question is floating around Facebook today:

2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 - 2 + 2 x 0

The answer choices are 28, 26, 30, and 0.

If I asked you 14 x 2 - 2 + 2 x 0 or wrote it as 14(2) - 2 + 2(0) would you come up with a different answer? I found it hard to count all those twos, but then writing it my way might make it easier to stumble upon the correct response!

On Facebook the correct answer is not the most popular. Approximately 2.1 million people have voted and only 780, 000 people picked the correct response.

I know that this isn't necessarily a direct indication of people's math skills, but it is definitely worrisome. The concept contained in this question is first taught to students in Saskatchewan in grade 6.

I also know that although everyone adds and subtracts in their daily lives, not many use the order of operations (a.k.a. BEDMAS) or multiply by zero. Approximately 1.2 million people made a mistake with BEDMAS.

Something for a math teacher like me to think about.

Oh, and by the way, the correct answer is 26. You need to do the multiplication of 2 x 0 before you do all the other adding and subtracting!


  1. Thank you for that. My hubby and I had a discussion about that the other day. I came up with 0 and said it was 26. I forgot about BEDMAS though back in the day I was quite proficient in math. :)

  2. Ha ha... this is what I'm doing with my grade 9's right now and today I'm going to give this question as my entrance slip!!!


  3. You are such a math geek! I love it! At thanksgiving my cousin was telling me that next semester you will be her math teacher. I told her what a good math teacher you are, and this proves why. The best teachers are always excited about the subjects they teach. She, and all your other students, are so lucky to have you!! Wish Ituna had math teachers of your caliber....feel like a move??!!

    Love Ader

  4. Ah...but if it were a skill testing question on a lottery ticket or something, it would be 0.

    Just for laughs....hee hee.

    I love Math!


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