It's All about the Number

Jun 07, 2010

RAY: This was a puzzler that I'm stealing from the late Martin Gardner. I'm going to give you a number and you're going to tell me what's unique about the following number: 8,549,176,320. Now if you want a hint, I'll point out that there are 10 digits in that number. The question is, what's unique about this number?

RAY: Here's the answer. Let's spell all the numbers: Z-E-R-O, One, Two, Three.

TOM: F-O-U-R. How am I doing?

RAY: You can stop now. And now if you spell out each digit and put them in alphabetical order, this is the number you get. So eight is the first digit.

TOM: Um.

RAY: Starts with an E. Then five, four, nine, one, seven, six, three, two, and zero.

RAY: Pretty cute, eh? Do we have a winner?

TOM: We most certainly do. Our winner this week is Kevin Cooper from Southern Pines, North Carolina, and for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Kevin's going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which he can get our new Car Talk high octane drip kit. What's that?

RAY: Well it's for coffee drinkers, the drip kit consists of a double-walled Car Talk travel mug and a half pound of fresh gourmet coffee and you can choose to get your Car Talk coffee in either leaded or unleaded, which is caf or decaf of course. Congratulations, Kevin!

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