Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Sue, a parent:

If A is 1 and Z is 26 is there a word that when you multiply all the numbers instead of letters adds up to a million?

We have two responses for you

Hi Sue,

Will you settle for half a million? Namely, JETTY. Sorry, I don't have the time to double my effort.



Hi Sue,

The only prime factors of 1,000,000 are 2 and 5 so the word you are looking for must be made of letters whose number is constructed from twos and fives. These are b, d, h, p, e, y, j and t. I think we should coin a new English word.


Definition: A bjetty is any English word that satisfies the property that the product of its letters is one million.


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