If you are looking to stump your students or middle school child, check out these math riddles. You can kick off your next math class or math lesson by posing one of these riddles to your students. You can work on your students’ math skills and assess if they are understanding your lessons by looking at their approaches to solving these math riddles.
1. How do you go from 98 to 720 using just one letter?
Answer: Add an “x” between “ninety” and “eight”. Ninety x Eight = 720
2. A merchant can place 8 large boxes or 10 small boxes into a carton for shipping. In one shipment, he sent a total of 96 boxes. If there are more large boxes than small boxes, how many cartons did he ship?
Answer: 11 cartons total
7 large boxes (7 * 8 = 56 boxes)
4 small boxes (4 10 = 40 boxes
11 total cartons and 96 boxes
3. Can you write down eight eights so that they add up to one thousand?
Answer: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1000
4. If two’s company and three’s a crowd, what are four and five?
5. Which weighs more- 16 one-ounce or 2 half-pound bars of chocolate?
Answer: Neither, they weigh the same.
6. A duck was given $9, a spider was given $36, and a bee was given $27. Based on this information, how much money would be given to a cat?
Answer: $18 ($4.50 per leg)
7. How do you make the number 7 even without addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?
Answer: Drop the “S”
8. A family has five sons, and each of them has a sister. How many kids does a family have in total?
Answer: The family has six kids – five sons have one common sister.
10. X is an odd number. Take an alphabet away from X and it becomes even. Which is that number?
Answer: Seven (Seven-S=Even)
11. Write down the next number in the pattern: 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…
12. When my dad was 31, I was just 8 years old. Now his age is twice as old as my age. What is my present age?
Answer: When you calculate the difference between the ages, you can see that it is 23 years. So you must be 23 years old now.
13. What number do you get when you multiply all of the numbers on a telephone’s number pad?
Answer: Zero, because any number multiplied by 0 will always equal 0.
14. If there are 4 apples and you take away 3, how many do you have?
Answer: You took 3 apples so obviously you have 3.
15. How is the moon like a dollar?
Answer: They both have 4 quarters.
16. What did the acorn say when he grew up?
Answer: Geometry (Gee, I’m a tree!)
17. Ryan can place 8 large boxes or 10 small boxes into a carton for transporting them. In one shipment, he sent a total of 96 boxes. If there are more large boxes than small boxes, how many cartons did he ship?
Answer: 11 cartons.
18. A little boy goes shopping and purchases 12 tomatoes. On the way home, all but 9 get mushed and ruined. How many tomatoes are left in good condition?
19. How many times can you subtract five from twenty-five?
20. Mr. Smith has 4 daughters. Each of his daughters has a brother. How many children does Mr. Smith have?
Answer: He has 5 children, all of the daughters have the same 1 brother.
21. If you take 3 apples from 5. How many do you have?
Answer: You take 3, so you have 3
22. I am more than 10 but less than 14. I am one more than the number of months in one year. What am I?
23. I add five to nine and get two. The answer is correct but how?
Answer: When it is 9 am, add 5 hours to it and you will get 2 pm.
24. Two fathers and two sons go fishing. Each of them catches one fish. So why do they bring home only three fish?
Answer: Because the fishing group comprises a grandfather, his son, and his son’s son – hence just three people.
25. When my father was 31 I was 8. Now he is twice as old as me. How old am I?
Answer: I must be 23 if my father is twice as old as me.
26. A bird’s head is 9cm long. Its tail is equal to the size of its head plus half of the size of its body. Its body is the size of its head plus its tail. What is the length of the bird?
Answer: 72 cm
27. Can you add the number of sides from a triangle, a pentagon, and a hexagon? How many sides are there in total?
28. Three times what number is no larger than two times that same number?
29. What geometric figure is like a lost parrot?
Answer: A polygon!
30. If you add six to nine, you get three. And the answer is correct, but how?
Answer: 3 PM
31. I am a number, but when you add the letter G to me, I go away. What number am I?
Answer: Add G, and it becomes GONE.
32. If a rooster laid 13 eggs and the farmer took eight of them and then another rooster laid 12 eggs and four of them were rotten, how many of the eggs were left?
Answer: Roosters don’t lay eggs!
33. What can you put between 7 and 8 to get a result bigger than 7, but not quite as high as 8?
Answer: A decimal point is the answer. Your score would be 7.8, which is in the middle of the range of 7 to 8.
34. There is a three-digit number. The second is four times as big as the third number, while the first is three less than the second digit. What is the number?
35. If Radha is the 50th fastest and slowest runner in her school, how many students are there in her school?
Answer: 99 students
36. A barrel of water weighs 20 pounds. What must you add to it to make it weigh 12 pounds?
37. The ages of a father and son add up to 66. The father’s age is the son’s age reversed. How old could they be?
Answer: There are three possible solutions for this: the father-son duo could be 51 and 15 years old, 42 and 24 years old, or 60 and 06 years old
38. Sam is 14 years old, and Britta is half of her age. Now Sam is 34 years old. How old is Britta?
Answer: 27 years old
39. I’m a number you can find by adding the number of sides of a triangle.
40. Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?
Answer: The number 8.
41. Edward is as old as Benjamin used to be when Edward was as old as Benjamin is now. Benjamin is 36. How old is Edward?
42. If seven people meet each other and each shakes hands only once with each of the others, how many handshakes will there have been?
43. You ran a race and passed the person in second place. What place would you be in now?
Answer: You would be in second place because you passed the person in second place!
44. Why did the two 4’s skip lunch?
Answer: They already 8!
45. I am four times as old as my daughter. In 20 years’ time, I shall be twice as old as her. How old are we now?
Answer: I am 40 and my daughter is 10.
46. What digit is the most frequent between the numbers 1 and 1,000 (inclusive)? To solve this riddle you don’t want to manually do all of the math but rather try to figure out a pattern.
Answer: The most common digit is 1.
47. Peter owns a pet store. He puts one canary per cage but has one bird too many. If he puts two canaries in each cage, he has one cage too many. How many cages and canaries does he have?
Answer: Peter has 3 cages and 4 canaries
48. What can you put in between 7 and 8 which makes it more than 7 but less than 8?
Answer: A decimal point
49. A small number of cards has been lost from a complete pack. If I deal among four people, three cards remain. If I deal among three people, two remain and if I deal among five people, two cards remain. How many cards are there?
Answer: There are 47 cards.
50. If 7 is transformed into 13 and 11 is changed to 21 then what does 16 become?
Answer: 31, because I multiplied the number by 2 and subtracted one.