Wendy's + math = GOOD (Updated)

JoDee and I don't eat fast food much, so we've been blissfully unaware of Wendy's "256 ways to personalize a hamburger" campaign. For those of you who are also blissfully unaware of such advertising, here's a picture taken from the Wendy's bag.

Wendy’s Math

Now, I must say I didn't pay much attention in my math classes, but I seem to remember that combinations weren't powers of two. (Wikipedia describes combinations better than I can). So, if memory serves, there's no way the combinations for eight items are even remotely equal to 256. (8! = 40320).

Here's the items JoDee and I came up with that could be on a Wendy's Hamburger, just from memory:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Bacon
  • Mayonnaise
  • Onion
  • Pickle

That's nine items, not including removing the bun, or the meat (which is also an option). So, that would be 362,880 combinations on a Wendy's hamburger.

I'm thinking they're selling themselves short.

Now, to be fair, it's been a while since I last spent time in a statistics class, so my math may be off. If I'm off, please let me know.

(Updated: OK, I found out where I was going wrong. Check out this Advanced Math Article for how their math works out. Apparently my solution would have allowed people to order extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra toppings, which might work for those looking for extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra-extra bacon :) )

Although I still think bacon should be a topping choice.