Become a Millionaire: Solve This Math Problem

Billionaire Andrew Beal offers reward if you solve his conjecture

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff | Suggested by turnbull

Posted Jun 6, 2013 4:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – One of the apparent perks of being a billionaire is that if a complex math equation has you stumped, you can offer up a $1 million reward to de-stump it. Such is the case with Andrew Beal, a Texas banking billionaire, who will bestow the money on anyone who can prove what is known as the Beal Conjecture, reports ABC News. The 20-year-old equation is represented as A^x + B^y = C^z, and we'll leave it to RedOrbit to explain that the money goes to "anyone who can prove that when A, B and C are positive integers, and x, y and z are positive integers greater than 2 – A, B and C must have a common factor." It's just that easy.

One catch, however: Given the size of the award, Beal says the solution must get published in a mathematics journal. The self-taught mathematician came up with his conjecture years ago while digging into Fermat's Last Theorem, and Beal was previously offering $100,000 to prove it. “Increasing the prize is a good way to draw attention to mathematics generally and the Beal Conjecture specifically,” he says. “I hope many more young people will find themselves drawn into the wonderful world of mathematics.”

  (Shutterstock)
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