I found this email from a friend in my Inbox today – an *“Ooh! This is cool! I’m SURE my friends would love to read this, no matter how many times they might have already seen it, and regardless of how much they hate such spam mail!”* email.

Yeah, one of those.

Anyway, here are the contents of said e-mail:

GUESS YOUR AGE BY EATING OUTDon’t tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway – but your waiter may know!

YOUR AGE BY DINER & RESTAURANT MATHDON’T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST!

It takes less than a minute.

Work this out as you read.

Be sure you don’t read the bottom until you’ve worked it out!

This is not one of those waste of time things, it’s fun!1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would “like” to go out to eat.

(more than once but less than 10)2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1757 …

If you haven’t, add 1756.6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number. The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how! Many times you want to go out to restaurants in a week.)

The next two numbers are YOUR AGE!

THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2007) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE IT LASTS

Ok, here’s one of those mathemagical formulae that people like to use to say, “Whoa! Check it out! Maths rules! It can predict your age! It can read your mind! It can predict the future! It can change the universe!!”

Of course, all that is true *(Ask me how! Call now at 1-866-RICH-SUCKA and change your life! Calls will be charged RM500 at all hours)* but in this case, it’s just a simple con.

A play with numbers, if you will. Allow me to explain, in mind-numbing detail, how.

First off, you’re asked to pick a single-digit number (more than 1, less than 10). Let’s call this number **x**.

Then you multiply x by 2.

Result = **2x**

Add 5 to it.

Result = **2x + 5**

With me so far? Good.

Let’s now multiply the result by 50.

Result = 50(2x + 5) = **100x + 250**

You can use a calculator to double-check what I’m stating here, in case you don’t believe me.

Next, we add one of either 2 numbers to the result depending on if you’ve had your birthday this year. I’ve just had mine a couple of months back, so I’m adding 1757. Add 1756 if your birthday is still to come.

Result = 100x + 250 + 1757 = **100x + 2007**

Oh wow, what a coincidence! This is year 2007 as well! Well, not really a coincidence, is it?

If you added 1756 instead, you would have had 2006. I’ll explain the minor difference in a bit.

Anyway, moving on….

You’re now asked to subtract your birth year. Let’s say your birth year is **y**.

Result = **100x + 2007 – y**

Now, if you subtract 2007 (this year) from **y** (your birth year), what do you get? Your age, duh! Let’s say your age is **zz**.

Thus result would be = **100x + zz**

And since **x** is a single digit number, multiplying it by a 100 would mean the number would look like ‘**x00**‘. Adding your 2-digit age (unless you’re really old, you centenarian, you!) would result in a 3-digit number looking like **xzz**… .e.g *525*, with **x** being *5* and **zz** being *25*.

If you had added 1756 to the equation earlier instead of 1757, you would have subtracted your birth year from last year, which would be your age if you hadn’t reached your date of birth this year. Makes sense, innit?

So there you go. Mathemagics demystified. Not that anybody was wondering, I’m sure…

Oh, and that last bit in the e-mail where it says this will only work this year is obviously stupid. To make it work next year, just add 1758 or 1757 in step 5. Duh.

I *so* need something to do on the weekends……

Dei mana gambo bra ni?

SASHI: Brader, Google Images kan ada for all that stuff?😀I lovelovelove taking apart these kinds of magic number “cons”, as you call them, with algebra.

SASHI: Yeah, it’s nice to know all that time spent mugging for exams paid off.😛