Tweet About restaurant pizza miscalculation goes viral. Does the math work?

Who knew pizza night was a geometry quiz waiting to happen?

On June 29, a the tweet went viral. Like, really viral. User, @cretiredroy, told the story of a visit to a pizzeria that turns into a clever riddle of mass, geometry, transactions and theft.

“I ordered a 9 inch pizza,” @cretiredroy said in a tweet that garnered an astonishing 50,000 retweets and over 197,000 likes in less than a week on the first tweet alone. “After a while, the waiter brought two 5-inch pizzas and said the 9-inch pizza was not available and he was giving me two 5-inch pizzas instead, and I Got 1 more inch for free!I asked the waiter to call the owner.

The Twitter user goes on to say that the owner watched him use a mathematical formula to calculate the area of ​​a circle. After recounting calculations that may give you unsettling flashbacks to 10th grade geometry class, @cretiredroy comes to the conclusion that while two 5-inch pizzas seem to the layman as if they were more pizza, the math proves it all. opposite. In fact, the math shows that even if he got three 5-inch pizzas, the surface area of ​​the pies would amount to less pizza than the 9-inch pizza he originally ordered.

Pizza math aside, users were quick to express doubt that this story ever happened, as is common practice when something goes viral. But this time users came with receipts.

“Sir, please make a living and don’t chase the likes and retweets at this age by copying and pasting stuff from the internet,” one Twitter user said. replied.

“Amazingly, this exact situation has happened about 40 times to people other than you,” another Twitter user said. replied, incorporating a tweet containing the same story posted a day earlier. There are plenty of pizzerias that don’t have the foresight to keep extra dough in stock, especially around math, it seems!

If this whole story sounds as far-fetched to you as it does to other Twitter users, well, that’s because it is — and not just because it’s unlikely any pizzeria owner would have the patience to follow. a math lesson while serving enough customers to run low on pizza stock. It turns out that the Twitter user indeed fabricated the story.

“This incident never happened,” @cretiredroy confirmed in a direct Twitter message to TODAY Food, punctuating that post with the embarrassed face emoji.

Since the original poster is a proven viral fiber, you might be wondering if the math involved was correct. We were too, so we decided to consult a few experts to see how this corny situation might play out in real life.

“That seems a bit unlikely,” Matt S. Fairbanks, assistant professor of physics at California State University Maritime Academy, said today.

“The math used in the tweet is geometry,” Katie D’Alto, a math professor at Long Island, New York, said today. “The inches of the pizza are given as the diameter and the radius is half the diameter.”

Fairbanks added that the calculations to calculate the surface area of ​​the pizzas appear to be accurate. “I guess the person really should be calculating the volume, but it’s reasonable to assume that the thickness of all pizzas is the same,” he said.

All of the experts we spoke to agreed that the calculations were correct, and in their own way, they completed the formula themselves to prove it.

“The area of ​​a circle is calculated using the formula A=πr²,” Jordan Fulmer, a mechanical engineer turned real estate investor in the Huntsville, Alabama area, said today. What Fulmer means in non-mathematical English is that “area equals pi times radius squared”. Using this formula, Fulmer says the square footage of a 9-inch pizza would be about 63.6 sq. in. and the square footage of a 5-inch pizza would be about 19.6 sq. in.

“If he accepted the two 5-inch pizzas, he would get about 39.6 square inches of pizza, much less than the 9-inch pizza,” Fulmer said, adding that there was something to be said for the crust ratio. /trim. conflicting pizza orders and claiming you’ll get less toppings and more crust with the smaller pizzas. If your mind is a bit overwhelmed by the fact that you would never have a conclusion after a century of freshman algebra, you’re not alone!

“To make it worthwhile, the manager had to give the customer four pizzas,” D’Alto concluded.

“It all has to do with the relationship between circumference and area,” Fulmer added.

“Total pizza weight is another reasonable measure, but it would be missing some ingredients,” Fairbanks said. “The toppings have a higher value and potentially higher taste quotient compared to the crust, although I imagine the math would again be in favor of the 9-inch pizza.”

Overall, the one thing the math experts disagreed strongly about was what they would do if put in the same situation, each with their own take on how he would handle it.

“I would have done the same,” Fulmer said of the fictional actions in the original poster. “Not to be rude, but just to get what I pay for.”

“As an introvert, I wouldn’t say anything,” D’Alto said. “But, I was laughing about it with my friends after I did the math.”

“I would be unlikely to pull out a pencil and a piece of paper to show how incorrect the restaurant is,” Fairbanks said. “I don’t think anyone comes out of that happy feeling. I might leave a comment card.

Maria D. Ervin