A School Yard Controversy?

Rotten Apple with Worm Coming OutHoot’s episode of “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader” ended and he is no doubt disappointed.

But was he wrong?

Hoot made it all the way to the million dollar question.

That question? “How many common factors do 28 and 32 have?”

Hoot answered “two,” locked in his vote, and lost. He said 2 and 4 were common factors of each, and indeed they are. But he lost because the answer, he was told, should have been three. 1, 2, and 4.

But on the “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader” message boards, trouble is brewing. A few mathematically inclined viewers in multiple threads have pointed out that one can define common factors not to include the number 1.

A link in one thread to this article states, “Factors are either prime numbers or composite numbers.” Given that the number 1 is neither, maybe Hoot was right!

It would seem a shame not to give the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation $975,000 Hoot fought so hard to win.

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