Saturday 13th August, 2022

Countdown Numbers Game

The Numbers Game is one of the rounds from the Channel 4 television programme Countdown.

In the Numbers Game, one contestant selects six of twenty-four shuffled tiles. The tiles are arranged into two groups: four "large numbers" (25, 50, 75 and 100) on the top row and the remainder are "small numbers" (which comprise two each of the numbers 1 to 10); the contestant chooses how many large numbers are in the selection (anywhere from none to all four, and selections with none or four large numbers are general considered to be the hardest).

A random three-digit target is then generated and the contestants have thirty seconds to get as near to the target as possible by combining the six numbers selected with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Not all numbers need to be used, a number can be used as many times as it appears and decimals and fractions are not allowed (only integers may be used at any stage of the calculation).

In the game show 10 points are awarded for an exact answer, 7 points for a non-exact solution up to 5 from the target, and 5 points for a solution between 6 and 10 from the target.

For some games, there are many ways to reach the target exactly. However not all games are solvable, and for some selections it is impossible even to get within 10. If one or more exact solutions exist, Philologus will show one solution, but for puzzles with no exact solution no answer will be given.

Further Information/References
Channel 4's Countdown Pages
Countdown Fan Site