# Activity: Count to a Billion

*How long does it take to count to a billion?*

To start, see how long it takes you to count from 1 to 100 (you can time it using the Stopwatch). |

It took me 25 seconds to do the counting. **Use your own number of seconds in these estimates.**

"I can count to 100 in 25 seconds" (put your own time here)

So ... how long does it take to count to 1,000? Answer: 10 times 25 seconds, and then double that because it takes longer to say "one-hundred etc...", so that is about 10 minutes.

"To count to **1,000** takes about 10 minutes"

How long to 10,000? 10 times 10 minutes is 100 minutes. Plus extra for saying longer numbers and a little rest time is about 2 hours.

"To count to **10,000** takes about 2 Hours"

How long to 100,000? 10 times 2 Hours is 20 Hours. But the numbers take longer to say, and you need time to eat and sleep. So maybe 2 *very long* days.

"To count to **100,000** is 2 Day's work"

*Someone tried this (yes, really) and it took them 40 hours straight.*

How long to 1 Million? 10 times 2 Days is 20 Days. Longer numbers, and some days off, make that about 1 month.

"To count to **1,000,000** is 1 month's work"

Wow! It takes about a month to count to a Million! But it only took 25 seconds to count to 100, numbers sure get big quickly!

(Even if you could count *without breaks* and *at the same speed as you did to 100* it would still take nearly 70 hours.)

## Now Onwards to a Billion

How long to 10 Million? 10 times 1 month is 10 months, or about one year.

"To count to **10 Million** is about 1 Year's work"

How long to 100 Million? 10 times 1 year is 10 Years.

"To count to **100 Million** is 10 Year's work"

And now ... how long to 1 Billion? 10 times 10 years is ... 100 years or more!

"To count to **1 Billion** takes at least 100 years"

*What?* 25 seconds to count to 100, but **100 Years** to count to a Billion. Amazing.

(Now don't get me started on a Trillion ... that is a thousand times bigger!)

**How long would it take you?**