Do you have a favorite number? What is it? And what is everyone else’s favorite number? Over 30,000 people voted online for their favorite number, and the number chosen by the most people is…drum roll…7! Almost half of all people chose numbers between 1 and 10. The second-place number was 3, followed by 8, 4, 5, 13, 9, 6, 2, and 11, to round out the top ten choices. Interestingly, every number between 1 and 100 was chosen by someone: the number 39 has fans, as does 53, 62 or any of the others. The lowest number not chosen by anyone was the number 110, and other numbers ending in 0 didn’t do well, either. People had funny reasons for their favorites: many said the number was their birthday, but some said things like “I like it because it’s squiggly” (for the number 2). Now, figure out your favorite!
Wee ones: Do you have a favorite number, and can you count that high? Or pick any number you like and try counting up to it!
Little kids: If you and 4 friends all vote on your favorite numbers, how many votes is that? Bonus:If your group likes the numbers 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8, which number in order is missing from that list?
Big kids: If of the 30,000 people surveyed, exactly half of them pick numbers between 1 and 10, how many votes is that? Bonus: The number 7 got about 1/10 of the 30,000 votes. If it had received exactly 1/10, and 3 had gotten half as many, how many votes would they have covered together?
The sky’s the limit: If your favorite number has 2 digits, and when you reverse the digits the new number is 27 more than that, what numbers could your favorite number be?
Wee ones: Different for everyone…see how high you can go!
Little kids: 5 votes. Bonus: The number 6.
Big kids: 15,000 people. Bonus: 4,500 votes.
The sky’s the limit: It can be any number whose digits are 3 digits apart: 14, 25, 36, 47, 58, or 69. If you reverse the digits and get a number that’s 27 more, the two digits have to be 3 apart (since the 10s digit jumped by 3 but the single digit dropped by 3).
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.