Matches arranged to show 508

What is the biggest number you can make by moving exactly 2 matches in the number above?

Assume that numbers must be represented in their standard “digital clock” font (for example, a “1” requires two segments).


Solution

81151 is the biggest number.

The trick is you are not limited to just 3 digits! Break the “0” into two ones, and use those two matches to create a new “1” before the 5 (which gives you 15118). Then turn your head and view the whole thing upside-down:

Match Maximization Solution

(If you consider changing your perspective an unfair gimmick, 51181 would be the biggest number you could make.)


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32 Comments

    • The idea is you turn your head around and view it from a different angle, rather than moving any matchsticks. But your perspective (that this is a gimmick or a trick) is equally valid.

  1. The highest number I can see is 151,181. There is no rule in the directions that says a number 1 has to be two matches in length.

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