Win ‘how many things are in jar’ game with simple maths hack

It turns out the maths we were taught in school can indeed come in handy in everyday life.

Ever been to a local fair or charity event and spotted those games where jars are filled to the brim with sweets or marbles?

The challenge is to guess the number of items in the jar, with the closest estimate winning a prize that’s often the jar’s contents.

While it may seem like a game of pure chance, there’s actually a method to the madness and if you paid attention during your maths lessons, you’ll have an edge.

For those who didn’t, fear not, as a TikTok user has spilled the beans on the secret technique.

Alex, posting under the handle @smallex4ft11, revealed that she had come across a video explaining the trick and decided to put it to the test herself.

She explained: “I went to the Stitch Festival at the weekend and they had this big glass bowl of small balls of yarn. They were like, if you can guess how many balls of yarn are in here, you will win the basket of yarn. So I was like, absolutely! I remember what I have been taught.

“I went and counted how many balls of yarn were touching the bottom, and it was six. And then I counted how many were touching the side, and it was six. And then I couldn’t get around the other side but I guessed it would also be six because it was a sphere [shaped jar]. So I did 6 x 6 x 6 and I guessed 216.

“I haven’t received an email yet, but my mum received an email because she also entered the competition, and it said ‘Thank you for entering our competition! Can you imagine we managed to fit 216 balls of yarn in the bowl? Congratulations to our winner Alex Trueman who has won and guessed it exactly right’.

“That’s right, of course I guessed it exactly right because I had maths on my side. I never win anything, this is so exciting!”

In mathematical terms, the calculation you’re trying to perform involves multiplying height by width by length. The result will vary depending on the shape of the jar you’re examining, but ultimately, you want to determine the volume of whatever container you’re dealing with.

Commenters on the post were astounded by the hack. One person exclaimed: “I need to learn this!”

While another chimed in: “I’m a maths teacher … I’m using your video in my class the next time my students ask me why they’re learning maths.”

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