Montana is often called Big Sky Country. But it’s got big land, too – it’s our 4th-largest state. And on that land, you can find big herds of cows. There are about 2.5 million cows in Montana, which is more than twice the number of people living there. So it makes sense that Montana also makes tons (literally) of burgers. One restaurant in Butte, Montana is famous for a special recipe. The Nut Burger at Matt’s Place is topped with, you guessed it, nuts. Chopped peanuts mixed with mayo sounds a little weird, but people must love it – the restaurant’s been serving it since it opened in 1930, and the place is always packed! Sounds like the perfect meal to keep our nutty road trip moo-ving.
Wee ones: Cows walk on 4 legs. Get on your hands and knees, and pick up your front right “foot.” Now pick up your back left “foot.” And now, moo 5 times!
Little kids: Matt’s Place also sells cheeseburgers. If your table orders 3 Nut Burgers with 1 patty each and a double cheeseburger with 2 patties, how many hamburger patties come to your table? Bonus: If those Nut Burgers are also doubles with 2 patties, now how many patties come to the table?
Big kids: If Montana has about 2 1/2 million cows and about 1 million people, how many legs do they all have together? Bonus: Montana became a state in 1889. In how many years will it celebrate its 200th birthday? (Reminder: We are now in 2019).
Wee ones: Walk like a cow and count your moos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!
Little kids: 5 patties. Bonus: 8 patties, because doubling the patties on 3 Nut Burgers adds 3 more patties.
Big kids: 12 million legs! The cows have 4 each, which gives us 10 million legs, and the people have 2 million legs. Bonus: In 70 years. Its 200th birthday will be in 2089, and 2089 – 2019 = 70.
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.