Fun math trick to commemorate Swiss holiday

“Erste August” – August 1st – is Switzerland’s national independence day. Today the Swiss celebrate 615 years of independence with bonfires, lantern parades, great food and festive folk music.

Being Swiss, this is a fitting day to share a fun calendar math trick.

Swiss Chocolate Age Detector

(with Swiss clockwork precision)

  1. Pick the number of times a week that you like to eat Swiss chocolate — at least once but less than 10.
  2. Multiply this number by 2. (Who can resist that creamy Swiss chocolate?)
  3. Add 5.
  4. Multiply it by 50.
  5. If you already celebrated your birthday this year add 1756. If you haven’t, add 1755.
  6. Now subtract the year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number.

The first digit is the number of times you like to eat Swiss chocolate each week. The next two digits are your age!

This trick will only work in 2006. Here’s a little math puzzle for you to solve: how can you change the trick so that it works next year?

Thanks to my lovely web designer, Trisha Cupra of Australia, for the calendar trick. If you have a fun math game or amusement to share (or you just want to say “Grützi, I’m Swiss, too!”) post a reply or drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you.


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