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Writing Digits

Lee was writing all the counting numbers from 1 to 20. She stopped for a rest after writing seventeen digits. What was the last number she wrote?

2,4,6,8

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Jane and Sanjev sent us the following answer:

First we tried to make a statement using the plus on one side of the equals sign and the minus on the other, but we couldn't find one.

Then we tried to use the plus and the minus on the same side, and we got 2 + 8 - 6 = 4.

Then we tried to see what statements we could make starting with the number 2 :

2 + 4 = 6
2 + 6 = 8
2 + 8 - 4 = 6
2 + 8 - 6 = 4

We could not find any more.

Then we tried to start with the number 4 :

4 + 2 = 6
4 + 6 - 8 = 2
4 + 6 - 2 = 8

and with the number 6 :

6 + 2 = 8
6 + 4 - 2 = 8
6 + 4 - 8 = 2

and with the number 8 :

8 + 2 - 4 = 6
8 + 2 - 6 = 4
8 - 2 = 6
8 - 6 = 2

And then we can write them all the other way round, so from 2 + 4 = 6 we get 6 = 2 + 4.

That way we made 28 statements.

We have then had a solution from Amelia Earhart Class Year 2 at Newport C of E Primary School, Isle of Wight
Some of those look different when the numbers are put in a different order like 2-4+8=6 which you may consider different to 2+8-4=6.
Thank you for your solution from the Isle of Wight.