The Viral Math Puzzle: What’s the Closest Time to Midnight?

Everyone loves a good puzzle now and then, and here’s one that has recently enchanted the internet. Originally meant for kids, this tricky math question has caught the attention of people of all ages and led to a lively discussion online. First posted on Reddit, this brain teaser has rekindled our love for solving perplexing questions.

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The Conundrum That Captivated the World


Back in June 2023, a Reddit user from Jamaica, going by the name @yawdmontweet, posted a question that left others scratching their heads: “What is the closest time to midnight?” It sounded simple enough, with four options to choose from: A. 11:55 a.m., B. 12:06 a.m., C. 11:50 a.m., and D. 12:03 a.m.

This question quickly gained popularity, reaching over 1.4 million views and generating loads of comments from people with various thoughts and answers. The phrase “closest time to” sparked creative thinking, leaving room for different viewpoints.

Debating Interpretations and Seeking Solutions

As more people joined the discussion, the general agreement leaned towards option “D”. Many believed 12:03 a.m. was the closest to midnight, whether looking forward or backward in time.

However, not everyone agreed. Some pointed out that the phrasing “closest time to” versus “closest time until” could change the meaning entirely. Those supporting option “A” argued that it was nearest to the next midnight.

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