Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Belfast maths muddle teenager is an internet hit

Laurel May spills her drink while attempting to answer the question
Laurel May is stumped by the question
Laurel can't believe she didn't know the answer

A Belfast teenager has spoken of her shock after footage of her trying to answer a basic mathematics riddle went viral on the internet.

Laurel May, from the east of the city, became an internet sensation after her family posted a video online of her being stumped by the question.

The teenager is seen being asked by her sister Amber what time she would arrive at a destination 80 miles away if she was travelling at 80mph and left at 2pm.

The answer, of course, is elementary, but the 19-year-old is completely baffled by the seemingly simple query – prompting a colourful tirade from her exasperated mother Margaret and lots of laughing from her sister.

The clip went viral on YouTube and has now been watched more than 580,000 times by internet users around the world.

Laurel told the Belfast Telegraph she has been left stunned by the huge online reaction to her ditzy antics.

"I didn't expect this to happen," she said.

"I didn't even know Amber was recording it.

"It was just a laugh and was only uploaded on Facebook so a few of my friends could see, because they know how Amber and I act with each other."

The 19-year-old sales assistant and trainee dental nurse says her sister is always trying to catch her out with brain teasers.

Laurel May is stumped by the question

"Amber just randomly asked me the question," she said.

"I didn't think before I answered but she always asks me stupid trick questions to try and catch me out."

Many of the online comments about Laurel have been supportive and very appreciative of the laughs the good sport provided, but inevitably a number have also been nasty and abusive.

Laurel's family have been able to join in with the joke but are disappointed by some of the negative online posts.

"They all think it's funny but are shocked at the negative backlash from the video," she added.

Last night Laurel confirmed she now understands that if Amber left her location at 2pm for a destination 80 miles away and travelled at 80mph she would arrive 20 minutes earlier than the 3.20pm her "minute per mile" theory previously concluded.

"Ha ha, yes, I understand it now," she said. "I just didn't think properly at the time."

The question

The question that flummoxed Laurel May from east Belfast:

"Laurel, if I'm travelling from here to a location 80 miles away and I leave here at two o'clock but I'm driving at 80 miles per hour, what time will I reach my destination at?"

(The answer: 3pm)

 Warning: Video contains explicit language

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