Real Mathematics – Game #5

Me versus You

I am going to play a game against you. Yes, I am talking to you, my beloved reader. I promise you that I will personally hand it to you whatever you win at the end of the game.


  • You will start the game from top-left box. You will be making mini-runs. In other words you will take as many steps as I tell you to.
  • Each time you can take a step towards one of these four directions: Up, down, left and right.

    In case you take a step from 1000-Euro box, you can either go right to the 1000-dollar box or down to the Iphone-box. You can’t go from 1000-Euro box to the Starbucks-coffee box with one step as going diagonal is not allowed.
  • As long as you follow the second rule you can move freely. It is allowed to visit the same box more than once. Also you can go backwards too.
  • You should start your next step wherever you stopped in the previous run.
  • After every run I will select a box or two and eliminate them from the game. In case I eliminate a box where you are currently sitting, you will be declared as winners.
  • I repeat: Your steps should be either of these directions: up-down-right-left.

We’ll start whenever you are ready. Good luck.


1.You will be moving inside these 9 boxes starting from the top-left which is the 1000-Euro box. Take 5 steps.


2. I know that you didn’t stop at the 1000-Euro box. So I am eliminating it. Now, wherever you stopped in the previous run, start taking 7 steps. Did you do it? Okay, you can go to the next.


3. After those steps I am 100% certain that you didn’t stop at the 1000-dollar box. Thus I am eliminating it. Now continue the game with taking 11 more steps.


4. This time I will make a bold decision and eliminate two boxes: Left-bottom corner (a bag of money box) and car key box. You are sitting either one of the following five boxes. Now take 5 more steps.


5. I know that you are not standing on the Iphone box. I also know that you are not on the 100-dollar box. After eliminating them, take 1 last step from wherever you are standing.


Result: Now I can eliminate Starbucks coffee and 500-dollar boxes as you are standing on the zero box. I am afraid this is what you won: A big, fat zero.


One wonders…

You can play this game from top over and over again. In the end, you will get the same result. How is that possible? Why am I this confident?

M. Serkan Kalaycıoğlu


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