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Santa's Biggest Secret — Exposed

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Jesc, one of our top Maths tutors, uses Maths to figure out how Father Christmas is able to visit every home on Christmas Eve.

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Can Santa really get around the whole world in one night? And if so, how does he manage it?

Let’s do a fun calculation - see if you can follow along with either pen and paper or a calculator.

The Maths:

• To start with, there are 7.6 billion people in the world.

• If we assume 25% of people are children, there are 1.9 billion children.

• If we assume every household has roughly 2.5 children, Santa has to travel to 760 million households.

• If we assume that every household is about 1.5 miles apart from one another, then Santa has to travel 1,140 million (1,140,000,000) miles in one night!

• Let’s now assume Santa’s sleigh can travel up to 100 mph. We can use this formula: Speed = Distance / Time. Rearranging the formula gives us Time = Distance / Speed. So the time it takes Santa just to carry out the flying element is 1,140,000,000 / 100 = 11,400,000 (11.4 million) hours.

• Let’s assume it takes Santa 1 minute to deliver parcels to each house, meaning it would take him 760 million minutes to deliver all the parcels. Divide by 60: that’s 12.7 million hours.

• If we add 11.4 million hours and 12.7 million hours together, this means Santa needs 24.1 million hours for his Christmas deliveries!

• If we divide this number by 24, this gives us roughly 1,004,167 days.

• If we divide this by 365, this makes it 2,751 years for Santa to deliver all his presents!!

The Verdict:

Santa can do it one night! He just needs a few extra Elf helpers flying other sleighs!

Your Challenge:

Can you work out how many sleighs Santa would need to deliver all his presents in one night (assuming a 12 hour night)? Solution beneath Jesc's profile below.

If you would like us to find you an inspirational Maths tutor, then feel free to get in touch and find out how we might be able to assist you. Visit the Titanium Tutors website for more.

Blog Post Crafted by Jesc

Tutoring Subjects: 11+, Maths, English, Science

Background: Jesc studied at the University of Warwick, completing a degree in Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics & Economics. She is one of our most experienced tutors, having clocked up thousands of hours’ tutoring experience over the past nine years!

Solution to "Your Challenge": 2,008,333 sleighs (alternatively 2,008,230)


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