Smarter than Richard Wiseman?

Richard Wiseman speaking at TAM London 2009.
Image via Wikipedia

No, not really. Richard Wiseman is a very interesting author, blogger, psychologist, professor and amateur magician.

But here’s one of his conundrums:

…what is the largest number you can get using only 2 digits?

Well that’s a little ambiguous. The literal answer would be 99 (in decimal, all bets are off if you can choose the base!)

But what he intended was:

…what is the largest number you can get with two digits and one mathematical operator?

and gives the answer 9^9 = 378420489

But if that’s allowed then my answer would be:

99! =


Do I win a prize?

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