The Most Pathetic Fact in Maths

The 8th MM book is full of P.U.F.s (Perfectly Useless Facts) so before it was published we asked everyone to vote for the most pathetic, irritating and useless fact in maths! ☺

Many thanks to the thousands of you who voted, and you'll find the full results of our poll in "NUMBERS: the Key to the Universe".

Here are the facts - which one would YOU choose as the most pathetic? (Check your answer with our result at the end of the list.)

  1. If you multiply 1089 x 9 you get 9801. It's reversed itself! This also works with 10989 or 109989 or 1099989 and so on.
  2. 1 is the only positive whole number that you can add to 1,000,000 and you get an answer that's bigger than if you multiply it by 1,000,000
  3. 19 = 1 x 9 + 1 + 9 and 29 = 2 x 9 + 2 + 9. This also works for 39,49,59,69,79,89 and 99.
  4. 153, 370, 371 and 407 are all the "sum of the cubes of their digits". In other words 153=13+53+33
  5. If you divide any square number by 8 you get a remainder of 0, 1 or 4.
  6. 2 is the only number that gives the same result added to itself as it does times by itself
  7. If you multiply 21978 by 4 it turns backwards
  8. There are 12,988,816 different ways to cover a chess board with 32 dominoes.
  9. Sixty nine squared = 692 = 4761 and sixty nine cubed = 693 = 328509. These two answers use all the digits from 0 to 9 between them.
  10. You can chop a big lump of cheese into a maximum of 93 bits with 8 straight cuts
  11. In the English language "forty" is the only number that has all its letters in alphabetical order.
  12. 1 37 = 0027027027... and 1 27 = 0037037037...
  13. 132 = 169 and if you write both numbers backwards you get 312 = 961.
    This also works with 12 because 122 = 144 and 212 =441.
  14. 1/1089 = 000091827364554637281... (And the numbers in the 9 times table are 9,18,27,36...)
  15. 8 is the only cube that is 1 less than a square.
  16. To multiply 10,112,359,550,561,797,752,808,988,764,044,943,820,224,719 by 9 you just move the 9 at the very end up to the front. It's the only number that does this. (Thank goodness!)
  17. The number FOUR is the only number in the English language that is spelt with the same number of letters as the number itself
  18. 1x9 +2 = 11 , 12x9 +3 = 111 , 123x9+4 = 1111 and so on.

Have you decided which fact you think is the MOST pathetic? If you want to see our winner, click and drag your mouse across the blank box:

* Fact 11 was easily voted the most pathetic! *

☺ Some visitors even sent their own facts which we've included here. Do you have a pathetic number fact that we should include? If so please let us know! The best ones will appear here.

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