I think this should be spread round the world so as to stop ITV raking in fortunes of peoples’ money in what amounts to a con. It was a question on one of these dead expensive, stupid, rip-off late night quiz shows. It was called “Add the Pence”.

The question and possible answers, without which I would not have got the right answer myself, as on the BBC website:

“Add the pence: two pounds, 25p, £1.47, 16p and fifty pence. Answers were a)138, b)438 and c)506.”

Obvious answer is 438. Second answer is to add the pence and not the pounds, so 138. But it’s 506. And I think this is how.

It all depends on how you write the numbers down, and remembering that p = 1p, so add 1 on. OK, pay attention…

Two Pounds is 200p, two p (see, the way two pounds was written) and a p. So 200 + 2 + 1 = 203.

25p is 25p, 5p and a p. 25 + 5 + 1 = 31

£1.47 is 147p, and don’t forget that p when you write it like that. 147 + 1 = 148

16p works the same way as the 25p. So 16 + 6 + 1 = 23

Fifty pence gives you 50, fifty p and a p. 50 + 50 + 1 = 101

Add together all those, 203 + 31 + 148 + 23 +101 = 506 (QED)