Challenge Level

Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .

Challenge Level

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

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Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made it gives access to many similar ideas.

Challenge Level

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

Challenge Level

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

Challenge Level

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

Challenge Level

Given any 3 digit number you can use the given digits and name another number which is divisible by 37 (e.g. given 628 you say 628371 is divisible by 37 because you know that 6+3 = 2+7 = 8+1 = 9). . . .

This article explains various divisibility rules and why they work. An article to read with pencil and paper handy.

Challenge Level

What is the remainder when 2^2002 is divided by 7? What happens with different powers of 2?

Challenge Level

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Challenge Level

Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the product of their differences will always be an even number?

Challenge Level

Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.

Challenge Level

Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?

Challenge Level

Think of any three-digit number. Repeat the digits. The 6-digit number that you end up with is divisible by 91. Is this a coincidence?

Challenge Level

Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?

Challenge Level

Consider numbers of the form un = 1! + 2! + 3! +...+n!. How many such numbers are perfect squares?

Challenge Level

Suppose an operator types a US Bank check code into a machine and transposes two adjacent digits will the machine pick up every error of this type? Does the same apply to ISBN numbers; will a machine. . . .

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Find the number which has 8 divisors, such that the product of the divisors is 331776.

Challenge Level

6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1. The highest power of 2 that divides exactly into 6! is 4 since (6!) / (2^4 ) = 45. What is the highest power of two that divides exactly into 100!?

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Lyndon chose this as one of his favourite problems. It is accessible but needs some careful analysis of what is included and what is not. A systematic approach is really helpful.

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The number 8888...88M9999...99 is divisible by 7 and it starts with the digit 8 repeated 50 times and ends with the digit 9 repeated 50 times. What is the value of the digit M?

Challenge Level

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

Challenge Level

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

Challenge Level

Play this game and see if you can figure out the computer's chosen number.

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Can you create a Latin Square from multiples of a six digit number?

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Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?

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Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?

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Here is a Sudoku with a difference! Use information about lowest common multiples to help you solve it.

Challenge Level

The five digit number A679B, in base ten, is divisible by 72. What are the values of A and B?

Challenge Level

Details are given of how check codes are constructed (using modulus arithmetic for passports, bank accounts, credit cards, ISBN book numbers, and so on. A list of codes is given and you have to check. . . .

Challenge Level

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

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a) A four digit number (in base 10) aabb is a perfect square. Discuss ways of systematically finding this number. (b) Prove that 11^{10}-1 is divisible by 100.

Challenge Level

What is the value of the digit A in the sum below: [3(230 + A)]^2 = 49280A

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A number N is divisible by 10, 90, 98 and 882 but it is NOT divisible by 50 or 270 or 686 or 1764. It is also known that N is a factor of 9261000. What is N?

Challenge Level

Find the highest power of 11 that will divide into 1000! exactly.

Challenge Level

How many four digit square numbers are composed of even numerals? What four digit square numbers can be reversed and become the square of another number?

Challenge Level

Play the divisibility game to create numbers in which the first two digits make a number divisible by 2, the first three digits make a number divisible by 3...

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How many numbers less than 1000 are NOT divisible by either: a) 2 or 5; or b) 2, 5 or 7?

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I'm thinking of a number. My number is both a multiple of 5 and a multiple of 6. What could my number be?

Challenge Level

Take any pair of numbers, say 9 and 14. Take the larger number, fourteen, and count up in 14s. Then divide each of those values by the 9, and look at the remainders.

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What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587, 3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?

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The flow chart requires two numbers, M and N. Select several values for M and try to establish what the flow chart does.

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On a "move" a stone is removed from two of the circles and placed in the third circle. Here are five of the ways that 27 stones could be distributed.

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Ben, Jack and Emma passed counters to each other and ended with the same number of counters. How many did they start with?

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Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by 5?

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A monkey with peaches, keeps a fraction of them each day, gives the rest away, and then eats one. How long can his peaches last?

Challenge Level

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

In this article for teachers, Bernard Bagnall describes how to find digital roots and suggests that they can be worth exploring when confronted by a sequence of numbers.