Calling all puzzle masters: there’s a new math conundrum in town that’s puzzled thousands of people. The puzzle includes a mathematically wrong sum, and all you have to do is correct it.
Isn’t it straightforward? However, there is a catch: you can only add one line.
A viral video circulated online displays the puzzle beginning with an incorrect sum of 5 + 5 + 5 = 550. Your objective is to adjust the amount by adding just one line – and it’s not as simple as it appears at first glance.
The video, shared on TikTok by @xivecct75, shows a man explaining the task to his wife, who then tries to solve the puzzle in any way that makes sense to her, including using her one line to make the number 1, changing one of the 5’s to a 15 or a 51 – neither of which leads her to the correct solution.
“With one line, I want you to make this addition equation correct,” the man says in the video. There is only one line.
After realizing that making a 15 or 51 wouldn’t work, the woman tried connecting the bottom of one of the 5’s to make it appear more like a 6, but it also didn’t work.
The woman then had a breakthrough, believing she had found the correct solution, when she claimed she could draw a line over the equals sign to form the not equals sign (), stating that 5 + 5 + 5 does not equal 500.
“No, no, no,” the man replied. That may be correct, but it is not an addition equation. The goal is to get this entire equation right.”
The mother gave up on the puzzle, and her husband was ready to tell her the answer when her son took up the piece of paper and solved it for her, leaving her speechless.
The solution was to draw one vertical line to the side of the initial plus sign to convert it to a 4, making the equation read 545 + 5 = 500.
Commenters on the video, which has been viewed over 3.4 million times, were divided about the problem, with some claiming it was “simple” and others saying they were stumped before watching the solution.
“That boy is me,” one individual stated. Come on, this is simple!”
“Mind blasting!” said another.
“I’ve seen this multiple times and I still forget how it’s done the following time,” said another.
“I would never have gotten that,” a fourth said.