*Multiply 86 x 16 and then add 124. Divide that total by 12 and then subtract 24.*

In the United States, if you are picked to win a contest, you win. In Canada, being picked isn't enough. You must complete a skill question to win the prize.

The idea of winning something randomly in a contest is against the Canadian Competition Act, Canada's anti-gambling law. So the skill question was invented to get around such issues, so the sweepstakes isn't technically a game of chance.

The skill question above came on the entry form for a contest in a bar. I read the fine print to find that I wasn't eligible to win since I wasn't a Canadian resident (d'oh).

I was surprised to see the skill testing question on the form since I figured contestants who "win" would then have to answer the skill question to really get the prize.

Even though I couldn't win the prize, I wanted to see if I could answer the skill test question without help or even scratch paper.

From research, I realize that this question is actually tougher than others out there (maybe because alcohol was involved). Math problems usually involve 3-4 separate equations combined into 1 problem. In this case, each of the four major math equations get used: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Even without scratch paper or a calculator, I figured out the answer. I am occasionally an *idiot savant* where simple math is concerned. If you aren't so blessed, you might be able to use scratch paper but not likely a calculator. At least, it's not a word-based math problem.

For *mes amis* in Quebec, sweepstakes fall under really strict and minute rules, so often for ease, companies will have contests void in Quebec.

I've known for some time that a skill-testing question was needed in Canada, but this was my first time with an actual question. The problem was reasonably difficult, but solvable. (Answer is below, if you can't resist fate and want to find out.)

The spirit of what Canada does is admirable, but the reality is more like dancing around a nuance in the law that amounts to slightly more than chance. Still, jumping through a hoop seems only fair to win a valuable prize in a contest of sweepstakes.

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The answer is 101. 86 x 16 = 1376. 1376 + 124 = 1500. 1500/12 = 125. 125-24 = 101.

i DESPISE our rules about contest here in Quebec, so often there is things that are awesome but due to stupid regulations and hoops they have to go thru to make it available here, companies simply decide to void in QC as you said.. as for the math question.. alot of time they simply give you the answer.. its a "formality" more than a school test. As a cashier in some store we had the answer printed out and could "hint" or play give the customer the answer, no one cared

Posted by: Mario | August 26, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Sad that they give you the answer. If nothing else, you should be able to recall basic math to help you through life.

Posted by: Chad | August 26, 2013 at 04:43 PM