# OK, someone's gotta explain how this works.

Ok, I got this as an e-mail forward (I know posting fowards in the straightdope is prohibited in a unwritten law here) but I was freaked out about how this worked and was wondering (since I have the math capabilities of a chimp) if anyone can explain how this match trick works…thanx

Reoch

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have
chocolate. (Try for more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (Just to be bold)

4. Multiply it by 50…I’ll wait while you get the calculator…

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number…

The first digit of this was your original number (i.e. How many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are…

YOUR AGE! (OH yes it is!!!)

Try writing it out algebraically. x is your number:

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have
chocolate. (Try for more than once but less than 10)

x

1. Multiply this number by 2 (Just to be bold)

2x

2x + 5

1. Multiply it by 50…I’ll wait while you get the calculator…

50(2x+5)

50(2x+5) + 1751, or
50(2x+5) + 1752

Simplify this:

100x + 2001, or
100x + 2002.

Notice anything special?

The 100x will put the original number in the 100’s place (i.e., will put two zeros after your original number).

Note that (2001 - your birth year) is how old you are if you haven’t had your birthday this year, while (2002 - your birth year) is how old you are if you have. Your age will therefore fill in the two zeros that have been placed after your original number.

Should’ve used algebra first huh…dammit, I knew it was simple… thanx Cabbage…now I can go to sleep

I suppose, they will have to change this riddle next year, huh.