This brain teaser is more of a critical thinking question, than a math question. You might have seen it floating around the Internet in various places. Every time I’ve seen this problem posted, there’s always a heated debate as to the correct answer…

Well, it’s time to solve this problem, once and for all, but first, give it a try yourself. I’ll update this post in a couple days, with the correct answer.

### Genius Math Problem

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Answer: The answer to this problem is very simple. The correct answer, is: 19. Many adults will try to overthink this problem. They will see that there is a pattern between the three existing lines, and attempt to force that pattern, onto the fourth line, however, that would be incorrect.

You cannot simply add additional addition signs between each line. Doing so, would change the result of the calculation. Just as in algebra, if you change something on one side of the problem, you also have to change it on the other side.

In this case, the answer is 19, because these are actually four separate problems. The first problem is correct. Problems two, and three, are incorrect. You’re expected to provide the correct answer to problem four.

If you got any other answer, you would be incorrect. If you turned this in to a math teacher, you would get the first problem correct, and the remaining three, would be incorrect.

Adults have a tendency to overthink things. Try giving this problem to a young child, and see what answer they come up with. Since they’re unlikely to overthink the problem, they will likely get 19, as the final answer. They won’t try to add additional logic, where that logic doesn’t exist. In fact, they might even point out that the second, and third problems are incorrect, whereas an adult may try to justify the reason for them being incorrect.