A little twist on the "move the matchsticks" puzzle.

I placed a bunch of matchsticks on my kitchen table and formed a number with them (6,111,100). I am asking, how can you move just two matchsticks, so that you get a number as close as possible to one billion (1,000,000,000)?

enter image description here

Remark: Thanks to Mr Pie for awarding a bounty to Deusovi. His answer was the intended one, but BreakingMyself provided a similar one first; that's the reason I gave him the checkmark.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I hope you don't mind my expansion of this puzzle and usage of your image: puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/53509/… $\endgroup$
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ @AdamDavis of course not, our goal is to help each other build better puzzles here:) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 13:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Moving 4 matches i can make GOGOL. Waaay more than a billion! $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 14:18

4 Answers 4


A quick and dirty answer, hopefully this is it!:

As you can see, just two matches moved to create '1,000,000,000' :)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The intended answer is posted by @Deusovi below, but BreakingMyself first posted the correct idea. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 18:10
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Deusovi has a billion accepted answers already, I don't think he would mind it:) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 18:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @ArturKirkoryan is right - I really don't mind! And your answer is just as valid. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 18:52
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ It took me way to long to figure out why you have the same table as the OP... $\endgroup$
    – JFBM
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 15:29
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ NEVERMIND I GET IT. AHAHA $\endgroup$
    – Rivasa
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 20:58

Similar to BreakingMyself's answer, but I think this is what you were looking for:

Matchsticks arranged as 'billion'

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ How dare you ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ This was my intended answer, but I will have to give the credit to @BreakingMyself, since he first posted the idea:) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 17:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Surely this can be done moving only 1 match if you use a Capital B and Small L (l)? $\endgroup$
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Weckar E. I thought about this when I was making the puzzle, but it would make 'l' and 'i' look the same, and also '8' and 'b' look the same. I think the characters Deusovi used are more or less the standard ones. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 13:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Congratulations!! $\boxed{\color{blue}{+100}}$ :D $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 23:18


if the answer is to be of numeric form, this is closest i can think of. 611,111,110

  • $\begingroup$ use one of the matches to form an 8 from the 6 $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ where do you get the additional match? $\endgroup$
    – Yevgeniy
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 20:26

Depending on whether the _numbers_ must conform to seven segment display format the first image is correct. If only digits are allowed (no alpha chars you cheaters!) but don't need to conform to the seven segment display format, the second is more correct.

Non-cheating solution moving two matchsticks from number 6,111,100 to number closest to 1,000,000,000


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