Paul Harvey Riddle

Gary C. sent me this riddle which has been doing the rounds on email for quite a while, though I had never seen it before. As Gary pointed out, the interesting thing about this is not whether it really is a Paul Harvey riddle (I have no clue), or even the riddle itself. It's the claim that 80% of kindergarten kids got the answer while 83% of Stanford graduates were unable to. Instead of trying to track down whether or not a group of Stanford graduates ever has been tested with this riddle, I thought I'd do the next best thing. Take an unscientific poll of Museum of Hoaxes readers to see how many of you are able to figure out the answer right away vs. aren't able to. That'll give a rough approximation of the percentage of (presumably over-kindergarten age) people able to solve the riddle, assuming people answer the poll honestly.

I have to admit that I couldn't get the answer. I finally gave up and googled for the answer.

If you've seen the riddle before and already know the answer, then base your response to the poll on the first time you ever saw the riddle. Did you figure out the answer immediately? If you were in kindergarten when you first were given the riddle, then don't respond to the poll.

I put the answer in a link below for those people, like myself, unable to figure it out.

Paul Harvey RIDDLE:
When asked this riddle, 80% of kindergarten kids got the answer, compared to 17% of Stanford University seniors.

What is greater than God, More evil than the devil, The poor have it, The rich need it, And if you eat it, you'll die?

Send this to 10 people and then press shift and you will get the answer.
P.S. You won't believe this, but this really does give you the answer!!!!

The Answer


Posted on Sat Feb 12, 2005


Too bad it's just a stupid riddle and there is no God, huh?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Oct 01, 2008  at  01:47 PM
i didn't get it but i did think at the time of reading it that nothing is greater than sophomore son got it right away though.
Posted by diana allen  on  Fri Jan 09, 2009  at  11:16 PM
I'm not sure but is it love? 💋 😊
Posted by (G)  on  Sat Feb 21, 2009  at  01:24 PM
Paul Harvey was infamous for embroidering his folksy anecdotes, including engaging in outright lies (for example, his tale of Mel Gibson having had his face destroyed as a young unknown and it being rebuilt by plastic surgery, to say nothing of some of Harvey's blatherings about Abraham Lincoln). It wouldn't surprise me in the least if he'd made up the statistics.

The correct answer to this riddle is "who cares?"
Posted by JFT  on  Sat Feb 28, 2009  at  11:11 PM
Posted by WAYNE PINKSTON  on  Mon Mar 02, 2009  at  01:37 AM
Posted by Joe  on  Sat Apr 04, 2009  at  08:03 PM
It took me a few minutes of looking for a more complicated answer before asking myself what was greater than God? And then it was clear...
Posted by HRM  on  Thu Apr 09, 2009  at  06:33 AM
I was unable able to see that it was nothing. I had to look at the answer and process it. I find it incorrect. Poor people do not have nothing, they have each other (family). Poor people may not have money but they do not have nothing.

I feel sorry for the cynic who beleives that and they clearly did not read the powerful message of having enough humility, strife, love, and care.

Blessings to all.

PS. Not a Stanford Grad but a poor single mother who has EVERYthing I need, my family!
Posted by MarnieGayle  on  Sat Apr 11, 2009  at  07:10 AM
I liked the answer of "love" that (G) posted. It makes sense except for the eating part, but other than that it was a very creative answer.
Posted by Terra  on  Wed Apr 22, 2009  at  07:54 PM

are you saying you believe in aliens but not Canadians? wow, your awesome! so do you think I will go to purgatory for not capitalizing this note properly? if he really exists do you think he gives a #*@! about gramar or this stupid riddle for that matter? btw, we Canadians do exist and we help just fine, my friends and loved ones are fighting in the stan still for your country's choices.
Posted by Fran  on  Thu Jul 16, 2009  at  09:57 AM
Posted by ToniaK  on  Tue Jul 28, 2009  at  10:24 PM
i got it right! but googled the answer to check!
Posted by Aura Kolnik  on  Mon Mar 15, 2010  at  01:19 AM
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