Tricks With Numbers

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Tricks with numbers are a great way to impress friends and work on basic math skills, such as addition, subtraction and division. Learn a fun math trick using numbers and a friend with information from a math teacher in this free video math lesson.

Part of the Video Series: Math Problems & History
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Video Transcript

So what are some tricks with numbers? Hi I'm Jimmy and I have been teaching college math for nine years now and there are many many tricks with numbers and it takes a little bit to learn if you have never seen them before so what we will be doing in the next couple of minutes is to introduce a really nice math trick that you can play with with your friends, your classmates, your family, and it is a pretty nice thing and this game we are going to introduce today is called the amazing 1,089 or the amazing 1089. So here is the deal. If two slips of paper, you give them one slip and you are going to write on your slip of paper, 1,089. Now there is a catch though. You are going to have them pick a number but it is a three digit number and they have to put the digits from greatest to smallest so there is a little bit of a sequence involved. So let's just say you have to pick a number and let's just say they'll choose 421. Now what you want to do after that is have them reverse the order of that number so you have 421 and reversing this would be 124 where you go from there is have them subtract the reverse number from the original number so 421 - 124. There is a little bit of division here so 1 does not subtract from 4 so borrow the 1 and so 11 - 4 is 7 and 11 doesn't subtract from the 2 so borrow from 4 and you get 3 so 11 - 2 is 9 and then 3 - 1 is going to give you the 2 and you have 297. Now after you do the subtraction have them reverse the digits again so we go from 297 to obviously 792. Now take the number you just reversed and then you add it to the number that you get by the subtraction and see what you have. 7 2 is 9. 9 9 is 18, carry over the 1, 7 2 is 9, add the 1 which gives you 10 and you get 1,089 which happens to be the number that you wrote on the slip of paper at the very beginning. Assuming they have done their math right they should come up with that number and then when you show them that number they'll be amazed. So I'm Jimmy and that is an example of how you can use tricks with numbers.

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