The results are in; that’s a lot of rice!

Remember the grains of rice question in the Fall 2013 ctcLink Newsletter? Well, many of you replied, and I’m happy to announce the four people with the correct answer:

  • Judy Thomas, Everett Community College
  • Kurt Buttleman, Seattle Community Colleges
  • John Maduta, Green River Community College
  • Mark Linder, Tacoma Community College

They all agreed the king owed the inventor of the chess game 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains of rice.

“With there being approximately 29,000 grains of long-grain white rice per pound (thank you Google), that would be roughly 636,094,623,231,364 pounds of rice,” said Mark Linder. “The king is going to need a bigger chess board.”

Another popular answer was 9,223,372,036,854,780,000, or, as one person said: “Nine quintillion, two hundred twenty three quadrillion, three hundred seventy two trillion, thirty six billion, eight hundred fifty four million, seven hundred eighty thousand.” That was on the right track as that is the amount of grains on the last (64th) square of the chess board. But, once the grains on each square are added up, you reach the much larger number of 18,446,744,073,709,551,615.

It is hard to believe it added up to that many grains, but with the history of the story and the answer online, it must be true! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_and_chessboard_problem.

Thanks for playing, everyone!

About ctclinknews

ctcLink is a single, centralized system of online tools for student services and administrative functions for all 34 community and technical colleges in Washington. In the next several years, ctcLink will be implemented on every campus, providing online tools for everything from admissions to graduation. The first three ("FirstLink") colleges came online in August 2015. A wave of 8 more colleges (cleverly named "Wave 1") will switch over to the new ctcLink system in August 2016, followed by Wave 2 in 2017 and Wave 3 in 2018.
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