This is the Numbers Game as played on the UK Channel Four tv game show CountDown. The game is simple, you select 6 random numbers, and attempt to reach a random target by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing those numbers.

The numbers used are four large numbers... 100, 75, 50, 25, and twenty small numbers... two each of the numbers 1 to 10.

You can randomly choose from 0 to 4 large numbers, with the remaining numbers being small numbers. When you select your sixth random number, a random target number will be chosen (from 101 to 999), the countdown clock will begin, and you have thirty seconds to find a solution that equals the target number. Your solution must consist of any of your chosen numbers, the arithmetic operators +, -, /, *, and brackets. You only need to use as many of the six numbers as you need. It's not obligatory to use all of the numbers.

During the thirty-second countdown, the application will attempt to solve the equation. If a solution exists, it will be found within the thirty-second duration (Exceptional cases might take slightly longer). If you think you've found a solution, you can stop the clock and the PC solution will appear as soon as it is available.

This is a difficult game to beat, but it is possible if you're quick with mental arithmetic.


The Numbers Class

Public Class Numbers
 Private large As New List(Of Integer) From {25, 50, 75, 100}
 Private small As New List(Of Integer) From {1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}
 Public Sub New(r As Random)
     large = large.OrderBy(Function(x) r.NextDouble).ToList
     small = small.OrderBy(Function(x) r.NextDouble).ToList
 End Sub
 Public Function drawSmall() As Integer
     Dim x As Integer = small(0)
     Return x
 End Function
 Public Function drawLarge() As LargeDrawn
     Dim x As Integer = large(0)
     Dim isLastNumber As Boolean = large.Count = 0
     Return New LargeDrawn With {.x = x, .last = isLastNumber}
 End Function
End Class


Computers are ideal for manipulating numbers. An advanced arithmetical number manipulating program is only as good as the instructions it is given, although advances in AI technology might change that in the future...



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