Matchstick Math Challenge: Can You Solve the Equation by Moving Only One Matchstick?

May 25, 2020 Updated: May 25, 2020

The good news is that people are returning to work as countries across the world start to reopen, yet many are still stuck at home, still stricken with the lockdown blues.

Perhaps we can help make that situation more bearable with something fun to occupy your mind. Rather than waste hours on Facebook or playing video games, why not sharpen your logic skills with a tricky matchstick math puzzle?

Back in the day, before the advent of smart devices and the internet, people had to come up with creative ways to stave off boredom—such as with card games, or puzzles like this one, which use nothing more than a few matchsticks. Yet, don’t let that deceive you; it’s a lot more challenging and interesting than you might give it credit for. If you don’t believe it, give it a try!

Take a look at the matchstick math equation below and follow the instructions:

Matchstick Puzzle 1.

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

First, as you probably noticed, 9 + 3 does not equal 6.

The challenge for you is this: You may move one, and only one, matchstick to correct the equation. You may move it anywhere you like, as long as the equation is correct when you are finished. Give it a try. When you think you have the correct answer, or if you are completely stumped, scroll down below to see the right answer.

Epoch Times Photo
(Shutterstock)

Here is the match that you need to move:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Here is where you need to move it:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

And, presto! Here is the final answer:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

The correct answer is 5 + 3 = 8.

If you got it right, then congratulations! If you didn’t get it, don’t worry; practice makes perfect, so why not take another crack at it with a second puzzle below:

Matchstick Puzzle 2.

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

As you can see, this one is a little bit longer. It’s also trickier, so try thinking outside the box.

Same as before, you may move only one matchstick to correct the equation. Take a moment to solve it for yourself. Once you think you have the right answer, or when you’re ready to throw in the towel, scroll down below to see the answer.

Epoch Times Photo
(Shutterstock)

Here is the match that you need to move:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Here is where you need to move it:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

And, just like magic, here is the final answer:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

The answer is 545 + 5 = 550.

That was challenging, wasn’t it? If you solved it correctly, great work!

Here is one last bonus question for bragging rights, or a chance to redeem yourself if you weren’t able to solve the previous questions. Are you up for it? The instructions are below.

Matchstick Puzzle: Bonus Round

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Here are 2 matchsticks (which happen to look a lot like the number 11). The challenge is to move both matchsticks to form the number 10. You may move them anywhere you like, as long as you end up with 10 as your final answer.

When you’re ready to see the correct answer, scroll down below.

Epoch Times Photo
(Shutterstock)

Here are the matchsticks that you need to move:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Move the matchsticks like so:

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Voila! Here is the number 10 … in Roman numerals!

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)