We always love to hear from you! E-mail the editors at with questions or comments.



Welcome to MATH Magazine’s Numbers in the News! Each week we'll post a math question based on a current news story. Read and solve the question.

If you like, enter your answer in the Comments section. The first person to answer the question correctly has the honor of being our “Winner of the Week.” (We’ll reveal that person, and the correct answer, in that question’s Comments the following week.)

What are you waiting for? Start solving!


« Marathon Miner | Main | Happy Thanksgiving! (Now Start Shopping!) »

Reasoning To Celebrate

Caitlin Burke, a 26-year-old magazine editor, didn’t need good fortune when she played the game show Wheel of Fortune. All she needed was good reasoning skills. In Wheel of Fortune, contestants are shown a Hangman-like word puzzle. Contestants must guess letters until they are able to solve the puzzle. Burke was able to solve a 27-letter puzzle with only one letter on the board (an L in the fifth word), but she said later that she didn’t even need that letter. Burke is a big fan of the show and spent years watching and practicing. The phrase was “I’VE GOT A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS.” Burke knew from the apostrophe that the first word had to be “I’ll” or “I’ve.” After thinking about phrases that start with each, she realized there was only one possible solution. There is also one possible solution to this question: In how many different orders can you put 7 different words?

There are 5,040 different orders in which you could place 7 different words!

The caption contest for this photo is closed.