Maths is hard. It’s not for nothing that it’s most people’s least favorite subject. But unlike most of the stuff we learned at school that we usually complain about for not having an application in real life (how important was it really to know that mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell?!), maths does. In fact, we use it everyday. Some of us better than others, it has to be said.
Yeah, so maybe we don’t get to use imaginary numbers, integrals, or even simple quadratic equations in real life, but the basics like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are essential for anyone who has anything to do with money. Which means it’s essential for everyone. But one thing no-one ever in the history of maths has ever liked (okay, so that’s probably more than an exaggeration, but still) are fractions and decimals.
What does any of this maths stuff have to do with an article that clearly contains the word ‘floor’ in its title, you wonder? Well, said floor was created by using pennies. And people online got really, really confused trying to calculate whether the person who thought of that was a genius for saving money or a complete fool for wasting an insane amount of dollas.
The fault lies completely with Twitter account @Mindblowing. They just had to post this innovative, and pretty awesome, floor laying idea, doing everybody’s head in!
Now, we know that floor tiles can be a little bit on the expensive side. And all of us, DIY lovers, quite enjoy finding alternative solutions that stimulate our creativity, but above all, that are easier on the wallet. The photos attached to the tweet showed the process of making the penny floor and people were generally amazed by the ingenuity of the project. Until they tried to do maths and everything went to hell.
The floor was made out of 13,000 pennies. And, as we already established, laying a floor is a costly business what with hardwood floors costing hundreds and hundreds of dollars. So substituting the wood for pennies seemed like a good idea. To some people.
To others, it was an incredibly stupid idea because their razor-sharp maths skills told them that this was actually much more expensive.
And you know why they figured it was more expensive? Because they thought one penny was equal to one dollar. There are no words…
They were joking, right? These people were actually huge trolls and they didn’t really believe that, right? They were only trying to wind other people up, right?
Since you insist that it wasn’t an act of epic trolling, but an act of epic failure, let me reassure you that not everyone had the same lack of basic knowledge in maths, in how money works, and in life in general. No, there were people who realized that a penny and a dollar aren’t one and the same. So they tried to convert the pennies to dollars. They failed, but they get points for trying.
Some got stuck in the process never quite reaching an answer.
Some called out the people who provided wrong answers.
Others lost their faith in humanity.
And there was the unsung hero who arrived to the correct solution and even provided a step-by-step account describing how they got there.
And that is the heartwarming story of how some people learned a valuable lesson: pennies and dollars aren’t the same thing. Just please no-one mention to them the existence of dimes, nickels, and quarters. We don’t need another bout of confusion…
But since you decided to stick to the end, here’s a fun fact for you. The pennies were worth $130 dollars, and the epoxy used to cover the floor cost around $175. Along with some other necessary materials, the floor cost about $350 dollars. But here’s another mind-blowing fact: the materials necessary to make a copper penny actually cost more than its face value! The copper that goes into one penny is worth 1.4 cents. That makes the 13,000 pennies that went into the floor worth $182! Confused yet?