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Salo vs. You

Below, I will give you a number.

But, first find a stop watch...

Once you see the number, use the stop watch to carefully time how long it takes you to find all of the factors of the given number.


Get Set...

Now reveal the hidden number below...



What are the factors?

How long did it take you?

Salo Finkelstein found the factors in a few seconds.

Want to time yourself on another problem...

Add 464 + 386 + 556 + 447 + 232 + 689 + 972 + 698 + 326....

How long did it take you?

Salo Finkelstein found the sum in 13 seconds!

Born in the late 1890s, Salo was a "mental calculator." In fact, he ranks eighth in the list of the "100 Greatest Mental Calculators."

In 1934, the Polish government hired Salo to replace 40 trained men and 40 calculating machines in its treasury department...and he never made an error over 5 years.

For some interesting reading, consider the examination of Salo's computing ability, as published in J. Exp. Psychology, in 1937.

Unable to find a job in the U.S. that matched his abilities and not willing to perform as a stage calculator, Salo began playing competitive chess (19411949).

But, he was not successful...and that is the last info we know about Salo!

Source: Adapted from J. Goodwin's This Baffling World, 1968, p. 371