Riddle – American

Make the following equation true by drawing only one straight line:

5 + 5 + 5 = 550

Answer: 5 4 5 + 5 = 550

My informant saw this riddle on a Facebook wall post from her roommate.  She was bored one day and did not want to do homework, so she asked her roommate to give her something to do.  Her roommate posted this riddle on her Facebook wall.  My informant worked on the riddle for a very long time but could not figure out the answer.  Eventually, her roommate gave my informant the answer to the riddle.   It is interesting that my informant heard this riddle from an engineering major, since the riddle is a play on a math problem.

My informant believes this riddle is popular among math and engineering students as well as anyone who enjoys mathematics.  My informant also believes that because she could not figure out the riddle because she is not as skilled at mathematics as her roommate is.

I believe that figuring out this riddle has nothing to do with mathematics.  I think this riddle is visual.  Those who are very observant and visual people are more likely to solve this riddle.

Collector’s note:  How this riddle was shared demonstrates the influence of the Internet on the spread of folklore.