Math Fail: 10 + 10 x 0 + 10 =

A friend of mine linked this math problem to me on Facebook

I immediately answered 20.  But then … I clicked the “Comments” link and saw the utter math fail from other peoples’ responses.

Then it got insanely funny when the wrong answer people actually started raging and defending their wrong answers against the right answer people:

Then there were the half-assers, you know, the ones who only partially paid attention in math class so they only have the math rules from the parts they stayed awake and merged arithmetic and algebra all together.

Then there were the people who just made up

The things that people make up and actually believe  /sigh

Then there were the clueless:

And this one is by far my favorite

But of course, she’s wrong too

So you’re probably asking yourself, why are there so many people getting this problem wrong?  Let’s look at it and the rule of Order of Operations; it’s really simple middle school math; not even high school level:

10 + 10 x 0 + 10 =

In mathematics and computer programming, the order of operations (sometimes called operator precedence) is a rule used to clarify which procedures should be performed first in a given mathematical expression.
For example, in mathematics and most computer languages multiplication is done before addition; in the expression 2 + 3 × 4, the answer is 14. Brackets, “( and ), { and }, or [ and ]“, which have their own rules, may be used to avoid confusion, thus the preceding expression may also be rendered 2 + (3 × 4), but the brackets are unnecessary as multiplication still has precedence without them.

So following the order of operations the problem would be done like this:

10 + 10 = 20

The easiest way to remember the order of operations is the acronym of PEMDAS, or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, which sets the priority of which to do the math.  You just can’t make things up or you will get the wrong answer of 0, 10, 200, or even 30 which wasn’t even an option, yet there were still those who stuck it out defending 30    :/

1. Parenthesis
2. Exponents & Roots
3. Multiplication
4. Division
6. Subtraction

In this problem since there are no parenthesis, exponents or roots, you do the next component on the priority list which is multiplication 10 x 0 which is 0, then from there it’s just basic math from left to right 10 + 0 + 10 = 20.

So how did the others get the wrong answer? Simple, they didn’t follow the above rule.  Here’s how you get the WRONG answers:

How did they get 0?

Those who said 0 just didn’t know how to do it period; they saw a 0 and immediately screamed 0.  Based on their answers they probably never made it above arithmetic level math which is just about as basic as you can get; simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  They are thinking of multiplication tables where anything times 0 equals 0 making the entire problem 0 which is completely wrong.  If the problem was 10 x 10 x 0 x 10 then yes the answer would be 0 just because the 0 is there. But in this problem we also have addition so that rule doesn’t apply.  Anything times 0 equaling 0 only applies to solely multiplication problems; it is not always true for algebraic problem because you may not be dealing with only multiplication. There is no way, no how you can even remotely get 0 out of it no matter how you spin the problem because you would be ignoring all other components. So I’ll just ignore those people.

How did they get 10?

Close but no dice.  If you did addition first your answer will be wrong 100% of the time.

WRONG! because multiplication ALWAYS comes before addition when there are no parenthesis, exponents or roots.

How did they get 30?

Easy explanation; they bojangled it.  They just went straight left to right and completely poofed the x 0, because you know, 0 means its nothing so you can just throw it away.

10 + 10 x 0 + 10 =

10 + 10  POOF! + 10 = 30

10 + 10 + 10 = 30

WRONG! You just can’t poof components, not even 0.  Every number must be used, including 1s and 0s.

How did they get 200?

Those who got 200 just didn’t know what they were doing.

10 + 10 x 0 + 10 =

20 x 10 = 200

EGHH! WRONG you don’t do the math on either side of the multiplication sign first. Just pure math fail; not knowing what you’re doing.

So in conclusion, the correct answer is C: 20.  If you don’t believe me, you can just type the problem into Google and get the same answer: