Prime Time for Big Prime Number

largest prime number

A prime number is divisible only by one and itself. We learn about them in elementary school and recognize them as 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc. As the numbers get larger, the space between primes becomes greater. In January 2016, a mathematician at the University of Central Missouri announced the discovery of the largest prime number to date:  274,207,281 – 1.

To put that in context, it is 22,338,618 digits long — 5 million digits longer than the previous record holder.

If we were to try to reproduce the number in print and reduced the size of the print so that each digit measured one millimeter in width, the paper would stretch out for 14 miles.

If you are inclined to try it for yourself, you can download the entire number here.


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