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How Much Is Your Name Worth?

I saw this sign in a window the other day:

At first, I thought the store was engaging in human trafficking. But then I realized that $269 was the price for the bronze letters that had been used to spell the name Eli. Inside the store was a price list for other names:

AIDEN – 491AL – 248ART – 267BEA – 290EARL – 415DANE – 399ED – 135
ELI – 269FAY – 220GABI – 289HAL – 284IVY – 143JACK – 234JAY – 232
KO – 60KAI – 283LEXI – 272MAVIS – 363MAX – 215NED – 225PAT – 210
PERRI – 330QI – 93QUIN – 199SAMMY – 338WILL – 243ZENO – 243 

The store didnít have a list of prices for the individual letters, but then I realized that I didnít need one. From the table above, I could figure out how much my name would cost.

The letters vary in price; some are more expensive than others. The price for uppercase and lowercase letters is the same. The price of a name is equal to the sum of the prices of its letters, and there is no additional surcharge or tax.

Can you figure out how much your name would cost?

There's no answer key for this puzzle… but the form below will let you check your answer.

Your Name

How Much Would It Cost?


Algebra Letters

The problem on this page represents an extended system of equations. An extremely extended system, to be sure — it consists of 27 equations with 26 variables.

You can use this problem with a group of algebra students, but it's also an excellent problem-solving activity for younger students. If you'd like to use it with a classroom of students, you can download this problem as a classroom activity sheet.

Name Letters (PDF)

If the problem on this page seems like too much for your students, a less intricate problem appears on the first page of the activity sheet. (Note that the values of the individual letters are the same for both problems, so students can use the form on this page to check their work for either activity.)