Mental Floss

Brain Game: Steeeeeeeeeeeerike!


Okay, I'll admit it... I took bowling in college. Since I lived in a dorm at a smaller school that was removed from the rest of the town, it was a nice way to get off-campus for a few hours each week. (And heck, I earned an A.) One of the things I remember from class is the following puzzle, which our instructor sprang on us during a written test. Enjoy!

During a standard 10-pin, 10-frame match, Oscar bowled a 190, even though he threw one nasty gutter ball and didn't bowl a single strike the whole match. How is this possible?

HERE is the solution.


Oscar threw a gutter ball on his first toss, then got the spare by knocking all 10 pins down with his second throw.
From then on, he scored 9 on the first ball and then picked up the spare with his second, for each of the remaining frames.

Because a spare scorex 10 plus the value of the next ball thrown, Oscar scored 19 pins in each of the ten frames for a total of 190... even with the gutter ball on his first throw.