Tuesday, September 23, 2008


For those who are still puzzled by our math problem in the Sep. 17 ezine, the answer is NOT $5,000. We offer this solution posted on our blog by "anonymous":

For all the people still stuck on $5,000 instead of the correct $4,100--you "probably" are "thinking" that $40+$30+$20+$10 = $1,000 because of the way those smaller numbers are spaced between the $1000 figures--but those four smaller numbers add up to only $100.

4 X $1000 = $4000
$4000 + $100 = $4100

Or you can add the numbers in sequence:

$1000 + $40 = $1040

$1040 + $1000 = $2040

$2040 + $30 = $2070

$2070 + $1000 = $3070

$3070 + $20 = $3090

$3090 + $1000 = $4090

$4090 + $10 = $4,100


bvpavlina@charter.net said...

I've enjoyed all of your Comments,particularly the math quiz which I failed the first time. Thanks for reminding me to think before I act. sincerely, Barry Pavlina

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the clarification. In my head it was 5,000, on paper it was 4,100 but still didn't understand why. Your explanation was really super for this "senior citizen".
Mikey Taylor

Anonymous said...

I loved your math quiz! I have stumped so many people with it. I consider myself a math whizz and I failed the first time. A person I sent it to has a biochemist degree and he got it wrong and insisted he was right until it was explained to him. My son who is in the retail business said he wondered how many mistakes he has made similar to this problem. It has gotten a lot of people thinking. I know I will not be so quick with an answer when it involves money. Thanks for opening my eyes and thanks for the fun.

Anonymous said...

The Kovel site is brilliantly laid out and brilliantly run. Thank you for using your intelligence in such uplifting ways.

You cram a lot into your emails. I always come away with some bit of wisdom, and I love the way you share the information. You teach. (Love the iron vs. wood beds bedbugs post today, too. History is fun when taught by you.)

It's beautiful to see that Ralph and Terry have brought others along so that Kovel's will go on and on in the same high-quality way. Even during the crisis of Ralph's death, you soldiered on for us.

When I see your Kovel's email, I always look forward to clicking on it.

I know I speak for tens of thousands when I thank you for your high quality work year in and year out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your encouraging words about hanging on to collections in a bad economy. Wanda Hawkins

Anonymous said...

I loved this problem. I was one of the people who got $5,000 the first time. And the second time. Both times I did the addition in my head. The third time, I wrote out the addition on paper, similar to the way this post explains it, and -- voila! Came up with $4,100. Great lesson about taking care when negotiating, and adding one's numbers correctly to know what kind of deal you are getting. Also, I love the Kovels Komments newsletter. Told my mother about it, and she looks forward to getting it in her email box every week.