In the September 1987 issue of the Arithmetic Teacher, Donnie Bain challenged readers to produce a single word whose product of its letter values would be exactly equal to $1,000,000. For example, assume that A = $1, B = $2, C = $3,..., Z = $26. Then, the word MATH, where M = $13, A = $1, T = $20, and H = $8, is worth 13 x 1 x 20 x 8 = $2080.
Can you find a single word whose value is $1,000,000?
Final Note: Be sure to tell your students that MATHEMATICS is worth more than a billion dollars!
Hint: Some close words are BANQUET, worth $999,600, and ROOMS, worth $1,000,350. But I know you can do better!
Solution Commentary: In the March 1988 issue of the Arithmetic Teacher, Henri Picciotto reported a successful solution: BEDDY-BYE.
But, this solution involving a hyphenated word is somewhat unsatisfying. Can anyone do better? In fact, can anyone find a math word worth $1,000,000?
Greta Kocol suggests: Solving this problem could... BE _A_HEYDAY !!! or
The answer to your question will take some DEEEEEEP!! thinking.
And Calvin Armerding adds this note: "One interesting thing my kids noticed was that certain letters won’t go evenly into 1 million. Once they could start crossing off letters such as “C” and “F” the process was greatly facilitated. They got quite excited. Still ran out of time before they came up with any words, however."