Probably one of the more challenging riddle types is number riddles. One must really stop and think, go step by step, and also realize the answer may be a clever play on words or have an unusual twist. In this article, we have chosen many types of number riddles; those relying on math skills, those requiring some serious computation, and those that simply use words to create an unexpected outcome. We have number riddles for kids, for adults, and a whole section with riddles and answers listed separately to test your riddle solving abilities. Memorize your favorites to share with friends and test their math abilities.
Table of Contents
Number Riddles for Kids
Number riddles are a good way to get a child practicing math while having fun. Younger children will not realize they are learning while they solve our collection of tricky number riddles. Not only are number riddles fun for kids, but they also have many benefits. Number riddles help a child:
- Learn to enjoy working with numbers.
- Relax and enjoy math concepts.
- Increase the ability to use mental images for solving math problems.
- Develop strategic thinking.
- Learn and develop problem-solving skills.
No matter what ages your kids are, we have number of riddles they can solve and will enjoy.
- What becomes smaller when you turn it upside down?
- There is a man with his horse going to town. The man went to the town on Monday. He stayed there for 3 days and then he came back on Friday. How? His horse was not tired, the man wasn’t sleepy.
- What do the numbers 11 and 88 have in common?
- I am an odd number. Take away a letter and I become even. What number am I?
- If two’s company, and three’s a crowd, what are four and five?
- A little girl goes to the store and buys one dozen eggs. As she is going home, all but three eggs break. How many eggs are left unbroken?
- What did the triangle say to the circle?
- Eggs are $0.12 a dozen. How many eggs can you get for a dollar?
- Which is heavier: a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers?
- If there are three apples and you take away two, how many apples do you have?
- How many months of the year have 28 days?
- When things go wrong, what can you always count on?
- You’re sitting down for breakfast and realize you have 4 bagels left. You know you’ll run out in four days so you cut them in half. How many bagels do you have now?
- If you multiply this number by any other number, the answer will always be the same. What number is this?
- What did one math book say to the other math book?
- How did the soccer fan know before the game that the score would be 0-0?
- A man has 9 children. Half of them are boys. How is this possible?
- In an odd little town, was an odd little stream with odd little fish in an odd little team. A stranger approached a local fisherman, and asked him how much his odd little fish weighed. The odd little man replied, “All the fish in this stream weigh exactly 1/2 of a pound plus 1/2 of a fish.” Isn’t that odd? How many pounds does an odd little fish weigh?
- How many sides does a circle have?
- If there are four sheep, two dogs and one herds-men, how many feet are there?
- A boy blows 18 bubbles,
Then pops 6 eats 7,
And then he pops 5 and blows 1.
How many are left?
- Why are 1999 ten-pound notes worth more than 1993 ten-pound notes?
- One year has 365 days. How many seconds are in a year?
- You have a basket with 20 apples. You have 20 hungry children. Every child should get an apple but one apple should remain in the basket. How do you do that?
- How do you divide 10 apples into 11 people?
Number Riddles for Adults
Remember your high school math classes? You probably do and you either loved math or hated it. Numbers can be confusing, but they can also be fun. Our “Number Riddles for Adults” use many basic math facts. Just take it slow and think carefully and you should be able to answer them and have fun doing so.
- A grandmother, two mothers, and two daughters went to a baseball game together and bought one ticket each. How many tickets did they buy in total?
- At the time of shipping, Jacob can place 10 small boxes or 8 large boxes into a carton. A total of 96 boxes were sent in one shipment. The number of small boxes was less than large boxes. What is the total number of cartons he shipped?
- When Michael was 6 years old, his little sister, Laura, was half is age. If Michael is 40 years old today, how old is Laura?
- What can you put between a 7 and an 8 so that the result is greater than a seven, but less than an eight?
- John was asked to paint the apartment number on plates of 100 apartments which means he will have to paint numbers 1 through 100. Can you figure out the number of times he will have to paint the number 8?
- What is the maximum possible number of times you can subtract number 5 from number 25?
- Leonard works at the aquarium. When he tries to put each turtle in its own tank, he has one turtle too many. But if he puts two turtles per tank, he has one tank too many. How many turtles and how many tanks does Leonard have?
- A 300 ft. train that is traveling 300 ft. per minute must travel through a 300 ft. long tunnel. How long will it take the train to travel through the tunnel?
- Marla has four daughters, and each of her daughters has a brother. How many children does Marla have?
- Two fathers and two sons are in a car, yet there are only three people in the car. How?
- The day before yesterday I was 21, and next year I will be 24. When is my birthday?
- A man describes his daughters, saying, “They are all blonde, but two; all brunette but two; and all redheaded but two.” How many daughters does he have?
- A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters. How many brothers and sisters are there in the family?
- A new clothing store has a unique method of pricing items. A vest costs $20, a tie costs $15, a blouse costs $30, and underwear costs $45. How much would pants cost?
- What did the zero say to the eight?
- What 3 numbers give the same result when multiplied and added together?
- Mrs. Green has 5 daughters. Each of these daughters has a brother. How many children does Mrs. Green have?
Number Riddles and Answers
Now let’s see how good you are at solving number riddles. We have listed the riddles first, followed by numbered answers. Test your family and friends as well.
- I am a three-digit number. My tens digit is six more than my ones digit. My hundreds digit is eight less than my tens digit. What number am I?
- If seven people meet each other, and each shakes hands only once with each of the others, how many handshakes will there have been?
- It’s raining at midnight, but the forecast for tomorrow and the next day is clear. Will there be sunny weather in 48 hours?
- Two fathers and 2 sons spent the day fishing, but only caught 3 fish. This was enough for each of them to have one fish. How is this possible?
- A word I know, six letters it contains, remove one letter and 12 remains, what is it?
- 81 x 9 = 801. What do you need to do to make this equation true?
- A horse was tied to a rope 5 meters long and the horse’s food was 15 meters away from the horse. How did the horse reach the food?
- You are a bus driver at a station. 10 get on the bus and no one gets off. You drive 10 miles to another station where 3 people get on and 1 gets off. You drive another 10 miles only to get 25 people on and 5 people go off. Next you drive 3 miles while 12 people exit the bus. You drive back to the place knowing that there are a couple more stops along the way until the ride is done. At the 2nd to last station 5 people get on and 2 get off. And at the last station (5.5 miles) 25 people get on for no reason and 1 gets off. What is the bus driver’s eye color?
- If there are fifteen crows on a fence and the farmer shoots a third of them, how many crows are left?
- Three matches are sitting on a table. Without adding another make for three matches four. You are not allowed to break any of the matches.
- Tulia has $29.00 dollars. She bought 4 coloring books that cost $3.00 each, and 4 boxes of crayons that cost $2.00 each. She spent the rest of her money on markers. How much money did she spend on markers?
- You and four other people robbed a bank for 200,000,000 dollars. You evenly split the money. For every person, you get 25% of the money how much do you get.
- There are 100 pairs of dogs in a zoo. Two pairs of babies are born for every dog. Unfortunately, 23 of the dogs have not survived. How many dogs would be left in total?
- A group of students are standing in the blazing sun facing due west on a march-past event. The leader shouted at them: Right turn! About turn! Left turn! At the end of these commands, in which direction are the students facing?
- A man is twice as old as his little sister. He is also half as old as their dad. Over a period of 50 years, the age of the sister will become half of their dad’s age. What is the age of the man now?
- Double it and multiply it by 4. Then divide it by 8 and you’ll have it once more. What number is it?
- There is a clothing store in Bartlesville. The owner has devised his own method of pricing items. A vest costs $20, socks cost $25, a tie costs $15 and a blouse costs $30. Using the method, how much would a pair of underwear cost?
- I am a three-digit number. My second digit is 4 times bigger than the third digit. My first digit is 3 less than my second digit. Who am I?
- I add five to nine, and get two. The answer is correct, but how?
- Using only addition, how can you add eight 8’s to get the number 1,000?
So, that ends our collection of number riddles. We hope our selection has proved challenging and fun. Share them with friends, family, co-workers, and students in your classroom. Although some will prove challenging, even the youngest and least-experienced number riddle solver will increase in their riddle solving ability. Remember, “practice makes perfect.” Have fun and riddle on!
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.