This brain teaser drove our staff nuts – can you solve it? - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

This brain teaser drove our staff nuts – can you solve it?

Here's the brain teaser - make the math equation correct by moving just one of the 15 straws. (Source: WMBF News) Here's the brain teaser - make the math equation correct by moving just one of the 15 straws. (Source: WMBF News)
Here's the solution - you move one of the straws from the "II" to form a "plus" sign in the middle of the "III," making it: "1+1+1+1=4" - easy! (Source: WMBF News) Here's the solution - you move one of the straws from the "II" to form a "plus" sign in the middle of the "III," making it: "1+1+1+1=4" - easy! (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Here’s a brain teaser one of our employees recently learned while on a cruise.

Fifteen straws are laid out to make the mathematical expression: I + II + III = 4

By moving only one straw, how do you make that expression mathematically correct? You can't add or remove any straws - you can only move one.

Give up? You’ll be kicking yourself once you see the solution.

The answer is: move one of the straws forming the “II” to make a “plus” sign out of the middle straw that formed the “III.”

The expression then becomes: 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4, which is both mathematically correct, and using consistent numerical figures, as opposed to the mix of Arabic and Roman numerals.

One of our employees had an alternate solution – move any of the straws to make the “=” a “≠,” or “does not equal” sign – but that’s a bit of cheat, don’t you think? Did you come up with a different solution?

Have a unique brain teaser of your own? Share it on the WMBF News Facebook page.

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