This math equation is infamous online and only a few people have the skills to solve it

These are desperate times, we are fighting an enemy we know very little about. Now more than ever, we need to stay home and only go out for the essentials. I understand how hard it is to feel trapped inside your own home. But here at The Laugh Club, we’ll work extra hard to keep you entertained.

Puzzles, Riddles and other types of challenges are always good to give your mind a breath of fresh air.

However, this time we bring you a mathematical problem that is quite infamous online – for causing arguments and debates all over the world.

Even professors have joined in this discussion, but even they have struggled to resolve the equation.

Now, however, it seems that finally there is an agreed solution.

It was a few months ago that a Twitter user posted this tricky challenge online.

The equation to solve is 8 ÷ 2 (2 + 2), but it proves to be anything but easy for people to agree on the answer.

Can you solve this equation?

What is your solution?

times equation

Solutions 1 and 16 are by far the most common – and there’s a reasonable explanation for that.

Hannah Fry, a mathematics professor at University College London and author of two well-known math books, believes that the way the problem is set up leaves space for ambiguity.

“The (2+2) in brackets is easy enough to deal with – it’s equal to four. But then what does the rest of the equation mean? Is it 8÷(2×4) =1? Or is it (8÷2)x4 = 16? You can interpret it in two different ways – and with the little information we have, it is impossible to decide,” she told the Daily Mail.

Both are correct

Hannah Fry says that both 1 and 16 can be accepted as correct answers. It is simply about how you interpret the equation.


Many others on social media, like the 35-year-old mathematics professor, have come to the conclusion that both answers can be considered right – but some point out that there will be different solutions depending on which mathematical rules you apply.

In spite of the heated, loud and almost hostile discussions, we can now conclude that both answers are correct. Although I myself strongly think that the correct solution is 16, it is well known that there can be multiple answers to the same problem. It is admittedly a bit annoying, but also quite fun.

Did you also think the solution was 1 or 16? Then you are right! Press that share button and invite your friends to a fun challenge today!