Pumpkins, Cauldrons, and Hoards of Halloween Candy

October 31, 2013
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Allison Taylor
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I was a raging sugar-holic as a kid. (Let’s face it, who wasn’t?) So, naturally, Halloween was a glorious, much-anticipated, high-energy free-for-all. My brother and I used to return from trick-or-treating dragging heavy pumpkin buckets and overstuffed pillowcases behind us—the candy wrappers would make that crinkle-squish sound as we dumped out our riches to sort, trade, construct giant candy pyramids… and then devour. (You know, until Mom and Dad took it all away to save a trip to the dentist.)

I would waste my time scheming before Halloween: How much candy would I collect? Would it all fit in my bucket? How heavy would it get? Would I be able to carry it all? And desperately (this was the most important question), how many houses could I make it to before it was too late and only Tootsie Rolls were left?

If only I’d had Wolfram|Alpha back then! Because today, we can actually answer some of these questions—and others, too. Although we’re still working on a “Probability of Receiving a Tootsie Roll while Trick-or-Treating vs. Time” graph.

But anyway, how much candy could I have fit into my pumpkin bucket? Hershey’s bars were my favorite:

About how many fun size hershey bars to fill a pumpkin bucket

I would have been in heaven to have 280 Hershey’s bars all to myself! Except I think it would have been exhausting to lug them all the way home.

And if I was horribly unlucky during my trick-or-treating…


About how many tootsie rolls to fill a pumpkin bucket

My brother would have probably relentlessly taunted me while hiding all the 3 Musketeers in his pillowcase for himself.

Meanwhile, our parents were anxiously working out queries like this one:

About how many toothbrushes fit into a shopping cart

They were just no fun, weren’t they?

But Halloween is about more than trick-or-treating. How about brewing up some frightful potions instead? (Note: No humans were injured in the making of this query.)

about how many skulls fit in a cauldron

Not to mention, every good witch needs her broom(s) to get around:

About how many broomsticks to go around the moon

And just think of all the decoration ideas:

About how many candy corn kernels to cover the world's largest pumpkin

But if you’re looking for a costume, allow me to recommend this one: Assuming there are around 480 Nerds in a snack-sized box, you’d need approximately a thousand boxes to become the “nerdiest” ghost ever:

About how many nerds to cover a bedsheet

Deliciously spooky. Happy Halloween!

1 Comment

It is pretty cool what questions can Wolfram Alpha already answer. I use it regularly for my math questions and like the search engine a lot..

Posted by Laura November 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm Reply
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