Columbus Day

Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas accidentally. He was actually trying to find a faster trade route to Asia from Spain. Instead of sailing around the tip of Africa, Columbus believed he could sail west across the Atlantic Ocean to reach Asia. In planning his expedition, Columbus calculated the journey would be around 2300 miles, based on his estimation of the earth’s size. Nautical experts of the time disagreed with his calculations, estimating the distance would be closer to 12,200 miles.

Gourmet Candies

Sugar Shack gourmet candy shop’s signature candy mixture contains Sour Drops, Chocolate Chews and Tangy Twists in the ratio 2:3:4, respectively. How many more pounds of Tangy Twists than Sour Drops are in a 45-pound batch of this signature candy mixture?

Asteroid Blaster

In the video arcade game Asteroid Blaster there are a total of five rounds on the first level. During each round, asteroids appear on the screen and players must blast as many as possible before time expires. To advance to the next round, a player must destroy all the asteroids in the current round. This becomes more difficult to accomplish because the number of asteroids increases with each round. Rounds 1, 2 and 3 each have 1, 8 and 27 asteroids, respectively. If this pattern continues, how many asteroids will there be to destroy in Round 4?

Math Club Meetings

Ms. Cross leads The National Math Club at the middle school where she teaches. At the first club meeting of the school year, 60% of the students in attendance were boys. If there was one fewer girl than boy in attendance, how many students attended the first club meeting?

New School Clothes

Nona went shopping to buy some new school clothes. At the first store she bought two pairs of pants, each originally priced $30. Nona used a coupon that reduced the price of each item by 15%, and then a 5% sales tax was applied to the new subtotal. What was the total purchase price?

Happy Left Handers Day!

International Left Handers Day is celebrated each year in August. If the ratio of the number of days of the month before International Left Handers Day to the number of days of the month after it is 2:3, on what date in August is this special day observed?

Summer Funds

Fiona has two part-time jobs during her summer vacation. She works part-time as a counselor at a local day camp, and she has another part-time job as a life-guard at the community swimming pool. Fiona works a combined total of 40 hours every week between the two jobs.

The first week working both jobs it rained all but one day, so three-fourths of the hours she worked that week were at the day camp. How many hours did Fiona work at the pool the first week?


Congratulations to the Washington Capitals hockey team on winning the Stanley Cup! To celebrate the NHL champions, we have a few hockey themed problems for you to solve.

In the quest to win the Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals played in four playoff rounds. During each round, they faced a different opponent in a best-of-seven series, in which the winner was the first team to win four games. What is the absolute difference between the greatest and least number of games that a team could play in four such rounds to become the Stanley Cup Champions?

National Competition

On Sunday, May 13th, 224 of the nation’s smartest middle-school math minds will be in Washington, DC for the 2018 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition. The stakes are high, and the problems will be tough. Here are a few Sprint Round problems national competitors solved in 2017.

What is the maximum possible absolute difference between a two-digit integer and the two-digit integer resulting when the digits are reversed?

[Sprint #2]           

April Showers

Sun City earned its name because it rarely rains there. In fact, it rains only 54 days each year there, on average. What percent of the days in 2018 is it expected to rain in Sun City? Express your answer to the nearest hundredth.

The percent of the days in 2018 it is expected to rain is 54/365 = 0.1479452055 14.79%.