up:: Mental Models MOC

The wheat and chessboard problem

There is a story about the inventor of chess. When the king discovered his game, it was asked which reward the inventor would like. He asked for one wheat corn on the first field, doubled on each field after that. The king was disappointed that such a low reward was sought.

After some time, he asked the treasurer if the reward has been paid. The treasurer replied that the kingdom’s stores don’t hold enough wheat to pay it out.

The total number of grains would be 8,446,744,073,709,551,615. Eighteen quintillion.