The Parking Meter Question


You are about to see a question, a flexible mathematical model, a solution pathway, and an answer.

My question to you:  Do you agree with the answer that I provide in the video?

In one week, I will post an animated model which will either prove or disprove the answer suggested in the video.

To provide additional thinking space I’ve made a PDF which you can download here.  Good luck, and enjoy!




Click here to see the solution.


If you are interested in more animated math posts, you may want to view:

8 Animated Dots and 1 Powerful Question

Exploring Multiplication

Give Students the Answer.


If you are looking for classroom resources or instructional strategies, you may be interested in

Math Imposter Sets

What is in the Cup?

Math in Motion


You can also find a highly engaging vocabulary strategy here.


For reflective posts, please take a look at I am on a Learning Mission and Finding Bedrock.






  1. Timothy Gill on March 27, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you so much, this is an awesome problem! I do have one question. Have you asked your students to consider what happens if you arrive at the parking lot at 7:30 AM?

    I will use this next week at a training, thanks again!

  2. John Bennett on March 27, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I believe you are correct! My explanation: The question doesn’t specify that the random hour starts only at the beginning of any hour of the day. So for example, if the random hour were from 9:30PM to 10:30PM on Tuesday, you’d have to pay – even though the 10:00PM to 10:30PM block is in the green. Depending on the payment options, you might pay for one-half hour or maybe one hour; but, again, the question doesn’t say how much you pay – only that you pay! So instead of 14×6(=84) hours one pays and (24×7=168) – (14×6=84) = 84 hours one doesn’t pay, it’s ((84+2x6x(59/60)=95.8) hours pay for parking and (168-95.8=72.2) hours don’t pay. That’s IF the smallest interval of time is one minute!!!

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