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The Magic Gopher trick explained

Updated on February 14, 2013

The Magic Gopher Trick Explained

The purpose of this page is to explain the 'Magic' behind the famous Magic Gopher Trick which has amazed hundreds of people the world over. The trick has even convinced some people that 'real magic' exists in our mortal world, and that this little cheeky Gopher is capable of actually reading the minds of the people who visit him and play his game!

It is with the hope that the mathematical base of the trick will eventually be understood in all due respects, that this page has been designed. Any questions, doubts, or comments can be posted below.

The Magic Gopher Game

Haven't heard of the 'Magic Gopher' yet?

Want to revisit the game to 'sample the magic' again?

Right click on the screenshot here and open it in a new tab to experience some magic!

The math that creates 'Magic'

This is the most integral part of the explanation

Here's what you do in the game:

Step 1 : Think of a 2 digit number

Step 2 : Add the 2 digits of the number

Step 3 : Subtract the answer obtained in Step 2 from your original number

Step 4 : Look at the Symbol associated with the number

Let's start drilling now!

The game is built on a very fundamental trick of the number 9 (NINE). Try to trace your memory back to the days when you figured out the Mathematical Table for the number 9 (or use a calculator!!).

The multiples of 9 are: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99, . . . . . and so on.

Read the next line carefully:

FOR ANY 2 DIGIT NUMBER, ADDING THE DIGITS AND THEN SUBTRACTING THE NUMBER OBTAINED (by adding the digits) FROM THE ORIGINAL NUMBER RESULTS IN AN ANSWER WHICH IS A MULTIPLE OF NINE.

Please read the above line repeatedly till you 'get it'.

Example 1:

Step 1 : My 2 digit number is 11

Step 2 : Sum of digits = 1 + 1 = 2

Step 3 : 11 - 2 = 9 (Multiple of 9)

(The explanation for Step 4 will be provided in detail in a later section of the page)

Example 2:

Step 1 : My 2 digit number is 47

Step 2 : Sum of digits = 4 + 7 = 11

Step 3 : 47 - 11 = 36 (Multiple of 9)

It's important to understand the above completely before proceeding further.

For people who want to see more examples, the following table lists ALL 2 digit numbers.

If too many examples (or too many numbers) confuse you, skip the table and scroll further down to the next section.

Answer for ALL 2 digit numbers

In the table below:

(A) : 2 digit number

(B) : Sum of its Digits

(A-B) : Resultant of the Subtraction

(A) (B) (A-B)

10 1 9

11 2 9

12 3 9

13 4 9

14 5 9

15 6 9

16 7 9

17 8 9

18 9 9

19 10 9

20 2 18

21 3 18

22 4 18

23 5 18

24 6 18

25 7 18

26 8 18

27 9 18

28 10 18

29 11 18

30 3 27

31 4 27

32 5 27

33 6 27

34 7 27

35 8 27

36 9 27

37 10 27

38 11 27

39 12 27

40 4 36

41 5 36

42 6 36

43 7 36

44 8 36

45 9 36

46 10 36

47 11 36

48 12 36

49 13 36

50 5 45

51 6 45

52 7 45

53 8 45

54 9 45

55 10 45

56 11 45

57 12 45

58 13 45

59 14 45

60 6 54

61 7 54

62 8 54

63 9 54

64 10 54

65 11 54

66 12 54

67 13 54

68 14 54

69 15 54

70 7 63

71 8 63

72 9 63

73 10 63

74 11 63

75 12 63

76 13 63

77 14 63

78 15 63

79 16 63

80 8 72

81 9 72

82 10 72

83 11 72

84 12 72

85 13 72

86 14 72

87 15 72

88 16 72

89 17 72

90 9 81

91 10 81

92 11 81

93 12 81

94 13 81

95 14 81

96 15 81

97 16 81

98 17 81

99 18 81

The Symbol aspect of the trick

Now we move on to the 'Symbol aspect' of the trick.

If you managed to understand everything explained so far, it won't take you more than a few minutes to comprehend this aspect.

If you look carefully at the list of symbols displayed,

ALL MULTIPLES OF 9 HAVE THE SAME SYMBOL.

And,

THE ANSWER DISPLAYED BY THE GOPHER IS ALWAYS THE SYMBOL ASSOCIATED WITH 9 AND ITS MULTIPLES

It's also interesting to note that every time you play the game, the symbol associated with multiples of 9 is refreshed. This is very smartly done, and helps in tricking the human brain in the first few attempts.

Just do the following to test this:

- Start the game and keep clicking 'next' till you get to the list of symbols

- Observe the symbol used for all multiples of 9

- Every single time, the symbol displayed as the answer will be that symbol

In a nutshell !

The trick can be briefly summarized as follows:

1. Whatever 2 digit number you choose, the answer at the end of the trick will be a Multiple of 9.

2. All multiples of 9 have the same symbol.

3. The symbol associated with 9 and its multiples is displayed.

Now that you've understood the trick, challenge your friends and see their amazed faces while you give them an 'Evil grin' ! :)

Your comments will be appreciated !

Thank you for visiting!

Your Comments

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    • profile image

      hitla^^ 2 years ago

      fake

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is fantastic and simple!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: google magic gopher its the top one!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: google magic gopher its the top one!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Solution to Magic Gopher

      Let xy be your chosen number

      This numberâs value is: (10x + y)

      You are to add the two digits together: (x + y)

      Then subtract the sum from the original number, thus: (10x + y) â (x + y)

      Operating, you get: 9x

      Therefore, whatever two digits you choose, you will end up with a multiple of 9:

      9, 18, 27, 36, 45, etc., including 0.

      Now, look at the symbols assigned to the multiples of 9 â they are the same.

      (This also proves that you can choose numbers from 01, 02, 03⦠09 and not just 10 to 99 and the âtrickâ still works since 0 is included in the chart and has the same symbol as the multiples of 9.)

      No magic, it's math. ;-)

      Enjoy, Dave N.

    • lordssj profile image
      Author

      lordssj 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi! If you check the section 'The Magic Gopher Game' you'll see a screenshot. Clicking on it opens the game up. Alternatively, you can directly visit the following link

      http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/games/magic-gopher-...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: how do you get the damn puzzle to come up? i wanna play it!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very well explained! Though I had realised the answer before it was revealed, it has been explained i a simple and logical way...Keep it up Sandy!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lordsandy has done a lot of painstaking research on the subject and provided an easy to understand solution to the Magic Gopher game. Kudos for making a tough task appear quite simple. I eagerly look forward to Lordsandy coming out with more and more interesting work on the subject in the future too.