This Math Trick Will Tell You Your Shoe Size And Age, And Blow Your Mind In The Process
Just when you begin to question the merit of all those years you spent studying math in school, something pops onto the scene to give you a newfound respect for the subject — a math trick that reveals your age and shoe size using a simple, yet entirely mystifying formula. For the naysayers out there, I will personally walk through the process. Prepare to be astounded, OK?
Before I delve into this little math trick, though, I should mention that it isn't an entirely new phenomenon. It's popped up and made its rounds on the Interwebz before, but clearly plenty of people somehow missed that, myself included. You should also know that if your birthday has already occurred this year, well, happy birthday. But also this trick won't work for you. Hey, you can't always have your birthday cake and eat it too.
Lastly, we may have found a potential glitch in the formula regarding half sizes. If your foot is a nice, round size number, the sorcery that will soon follow will amaze you and make you ponder the marvels of the universe. If your foot falls somewhere in between those round numbers — think 7.5, like my editor Lucia's — you may end up the unwitting victim of an imaginary time portal that ages you, oh, roughly 50 years or so.
Don't say I didn't warn you. Now, without further ado, let's do the thing.
Step 1: Multiply Your Shoe Size By 5
Easy enough, right? I wear a size 9 shoe, thus my magical starting number is 45.
Step 2: Add 50
I'm admittedly horrible at math, but even I don't need a calculator to tell you that 45 plus 50 equals 95.
Step 3: Multiply By 20
The answer is *long pause* uh, the answer is *pulls out calculator* 1,900. The answer is 1,900, you guys.
Step 4: Add 1,015
Phew, back to the easy stuff. I heart addition! My number is now 2,915.
Step 5: Subtract Your Birth Year
Allrighty then. The year 1983 (hollaaa, '80s babies/'90s kids!) subtracted from 2,915 leaves 932.
Step 6: Lose Your Gourd
The answer 932 is my shoe size (9) and my age (32, le sigh). Sorcery, I tell you. I am not alone in thinking so, either. Twitterverse, what say you?
Step 7: Google The Explanation
At the risk of ruining all the magic in the world, there must be a logical explanation for the math trick. A quick search reveals those suspicions to be so — it's all a matter of algebra. Alex B. Berezow breaks it down over at Real Clear Science, explaining, "Do you see why it works? No matter what your shoe size is, it will always be the first two digits of the answer," he explains, adding, "The age part should be obvious. [The current year] - y [your birth year] will give your age." Ah-ha!