You do not need to be a mathematical genius like Srinivasa Ramanujan to solve math problems. However, a simple brain teaser of a man buying and selling a horse, that recently surfaced on social media has left internet users baffled.
For some, math may have never been their favourite subject but the recent brain teaser has brought back the good old days of a math problem that leaves people put on their thinking caps.
Twitter and Facebook went abuzz when a parenting website called 'Mumsnet' shared a simple math problem on Sunday (February 11) about a horse. The problem involved the reader to find out whether a man who sold his horse made profit, loss or if he broke even. Sounds simple right?
Facebook users are stumped over simple math riddle: The internet has been left baffled after trying to solve a seemingly simple math puzzle that asked asked how much profit a man made (or if he broke even) when he sold and then bought his horse. https://t.co/LZWUsoGUnl pic.twitter.com/xN8sNxJCxw— jc m. mercado (@tianz17) February 17, 2018
Here's what the puzzle said: 'A man buys a horse for $60. He sells the horse for $70. He then buys the horse for $80. And he sells the horse again for $90.'
'In the end, how much money did the man make or lose? Or did he break even?'
Perrie Brookes, the person who uploaded the puzzle wrote on the website: "'Without adding your reasoning, tell me what you think the answer is."
However, after seeing the mentioned answers, she said: "Can't understand how so many people on Facebook have it so completely wrong (and can justify it to themselves)".
As Facebook and Twitter users came up with different answers using their own analysis on how much money he made, some interesting viewpoints have also emerged.
Most of the answers said by the users was $20. However, there were different answers as well.
"Actually it is even. He sold it for 70 but had to put another 10 in to buy it 80. Sold it for 90 made 10 but put in 10 to buy it back at 80.' One Facebook user was quoted by Daily Mail.
Here is the right answer provided by mathforum.org:
He buys a horse for $60. Sells for $70. Put that $10 aside. Buys the horse for $80. Sells it for $90. Another $10 profit.
The answer is $20.
However, there is a different answer when it is approached in an alternative way.
He spent $60. He gains $70. He now has $10 extra.
But then in order to buy the horse at $80 he must take $10 from someone else so he no longer is $10 up. He is now even. But, then he sells the horse at $90 and is thus $10 up.
The answer is $10.
What answer did you get?