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Dear Mitch,

Can you give some math questions with a Valentine's Day theme that you would recommend for middle school or early high school students, like you've done in the past?

Thank you,

Marilyn G.


Dear Marilyn G.,

Sure!  Here are a few I recommend:

1) At a Valentine's Day Party, 2/3 of the guests drank only grape soda, 1/4 of the guests drank only cherry soda, and no guest drank both grape soda and cherry soda. If the remaining five guests had nothing to drink, then how many guests attended the party?

A) 25

B) 30

C) 45

D) 50

E) 60


2) After eating 25% of his Valentine's Day candies, Timmy has 72 left.  How many Valentine's Day candies did Timmy have before he ate any of them?

A) 288

B) 180

C) 97

D) 96

E) 90


3) When analyzing the collection of Valentine's Day candies Suzie received, she discovered that she had accumulated exactly 4 red candies for every 3 pink candies.  If she had only red candies and pink candies, which of the following could be the total number of candies she received?

A) 35

B) 30

C) 25

D) 20

E) 10


4) A store has purple Valentine's Day candies and white Valentine's Day candies.  The ratio of purple candies to white candies is 5 to 2. If the store has 8 pounds of white Valentine's Day candies, how many pounds does the store have of white Valentine's Day candies?

A) 2

B) 5

C) 14

D) 16

E) 20


5) In a town of Saint Valentine's, the big stores celebrate their favorite holiday by ringing large bells.  One bell rings every 20 minutes, a second bell rings every 30 minutes, and a third bell rings every 50 minutes.  If all 3 bells ring at noon, when will all three bells ring again?

A) 3:00 p.m.

B) 4:00 p.m.

C) 9:00 p.m.

D) 5:00 p.m.

E) 6:00 p.m.


6) When John's number of Valentine's Day candies is decreased by 25%, the result is 15 candies.  If his original number of candies is increased by 50%, he would have

A) 25

B) 30

C) 40

D) 60

E) 80


7) A theater is hosting a musical for Valentine's Day.  It has 32 rows of seats with 15 seats in each row.  How many seats are not being used when 75% of the seats are being occupied?

A) 150

B) 120

C) 180

D) 240

E) 360


8) In each box of 12 Valentine's Day necklaces exactly 3 are purple.  If there are 64 boxes of Valentine's Day necklaces in each case, how many purple necklaces are there in 10 cases?

A) 36

B) 172

C) 192

D) 1,920

E) 7,680


9) A nearby university invited the cast of a high school Valentine's Day play to use its large theater for its peformance. On the big day, 3/4 of the theater's seats are occupied. After 100 people leave, 2/3 of the seats are occupied.  How many seats does the theater have?

A) 800

B) 900

C) 1000

D) 1200

E) 1500


10) For a Valentine's Day benefit, all seniors at Northwest High School are baking strawberry cookies or vanilla cookies or BOTH vanilla cookies and strawberry cookies, but no cookie is both vanilla and strawberry. 

120 seniors are baking strawberry cookies. 

148 seniors are baking vanilla cookies.

There are 218 seniors in all.

How many seniors at Northwest High Schol are baking strawberry cookies but not vanilla cookies?

(For this one there are no multiple choices, which means you'll have to work it out on your own!!)

Answers to come as we approach this 'hearty holiday.'

I hope this helps,