LIFE

Can You Solve The Matchstick Math Puzzle That’s Stumping People Around The World?

by Phil Mutz
Phil is an Editor at LittleThings. He loves writing and the outdoors. You can often find him at the movies or the park.

For the majority of us, it’s been years and years since we’ve taken a math class. Fortunately, many of the basics tend to stick with us, like simple addition and subtraction.

But there is one simple addition problem that has been stumping people around the world, because its numbers just don’t add up. We all know that six plus four definitely does not equal four. Yet this is the math puzzle that has gone absolutely viral.

Similarly to this head-scratching school bus logic puzzle, the math problem “6 + 4 = 4” has a trick to it.

Each of the numbers in this equation is built from matchsticks. By moving only one matchstick, you can fix the equation so that it is correct.

Scroll through below for an exclusive look at this surprisingly difficult matchstick math problem. Do you know which matchstick to move to make the math problem make sense?

Well, keep looking. Because even if you solve it once, there are at least three possible ways to make the equation work!

Are you able to find three different solutions? Let us know in the comments!

Can You Fix This Equation By Only Moving One Matchstick?

Matchstick math problem puzzle
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Did you figure out one way to solve the problem? How about all three ways?

Keep going until you’ve found three different ways to make the equation work!

Think you’ve figured it out, or you need a hint? Scroll down below for a few hints, and click to reveal when you’re ready to see the answers!

Hint #1

CLICK TO REVEAL Hint #1
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The matchstick highlighted in blue is the one you want to move.

Do you know where it should go? Click the image below for the answer!

Solution #1

CLICK TO REVEAL Matchstick math problem puzzle
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The equation now correctly reads “8 – 4 = 4.”

Click the image below for a hint about the second solution.

Hint #2

CLICK TO REVEAL Matchstick math problem puzzle
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Again, the matchstick highlighted in blue is the one you want to move.

Any idea where to place it? Click the image below for the answer.

Solution #2

CLICK TO REVEAL Matchstick math problem puzzle
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Now, the equation correctly reads “0 + 4 = 4.”

Click the image below for a hint about the third solution!

Hint #3

CLICK TO REVEAL Matchstick math problem puzzle
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

As before, the matchstick highlighted in blue is the one you want to move.

Any idea where to place it? Click the image below for the answer.

Solution #3

CLICK TO REVEAL Matchstick math problem puzzle
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

And finally, the equation correctly reads, “5 + 4 = 9.”

How did you do? Did you come up with three different ways to solve the problem?

Let us know how many solutions you were able to spot in the comments below.

Please SHARE with friends and family, and don’t forget to keep the answers a secret!