Simple maths question is dividing the UK as no one can agree on the answer

Is it 1 or 9? (Image: Getty Images)

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A simple maths equation is dividing the nation – suggesting that less than 10 days into lockdown two the UK has "already lost the plot".

To really liven up a Saturday spent indoors, BIDMAS became one of the top trends on Twitter after one user challenged people so solve the problem.

As you will fondly remember from the GCSE revision guide you attempted to memorise in a single evening before your exams, BIDMAS is an acronym explaining the correct order to solve an equation; Brackets, Indices, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction.

The 'viral math problem' has racked up thousands of comments as it asks people to solve: 6÷2(1+2)=

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The problem is no one can agree on whether the answer is 1 or 9, with both sides claiming "you're an idiot" if you don't agree with their solution.

Those who say the answer is 9 argue you should tackle the equation by solving the brackets (1+2=3) and multiplying it by 6÷2 (also 3). 3×3=9.

But others say it should be completed by solving the brackets (1+2=3) and multiplying it by 2 (3×2=6). That leaves 6÷6=1.

Both sides even attempted to argue that their logic followed the rules of BIDMAS and the other didn't – while some just couldn't believe what lockdown has already come to.

One replied to say: "The UK's been in lockdown for less than 10 days and we've already f***ing lost it."

Another added: "WTF is wrong with the UK, BIDMAS is trending on a Saturday and it's a blinking maths question!"

But many attempted to act as peacemaker to explain the answer could be either 1 or 9, writing: "The problem is inherently ambiguous and there’s no convention that produces a definitive answer, BIDMAS or no BIDMAS.

"It needs to be rephrased as (6÷2)(1+2) OR 6÷(2(1+2)) or there’s no right answer."

So there we go, Saturdays in lockdown are getting really wild.