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The number \begin{equation*} 10^{100}, \end{equation*} having $100$ zeroes when written in decimal. In spite of this large size, such numbers can be worked with on modern (1998) networks of computers. See, e.g., [a1] for the factorization of the $180$-digit number $(12^{167}+1)/13$ into two prime factors of $75$ and $105$ digits, respectively.

The number $1$ followed by a googol of zeros is called the googolplex.

The "Game of googol" is a betting game that is equivalent to the secretary problem. It dates from around 1958 and is described in [a2]. Its name derives from the fact that it does not matter how large the numbers are that are chosen in the game.


Do not confuse with Google.


[a1] P. Montgomery, S. Cavallar, H. te Riele, "A new world record for the special number field sieve factoring method" CWI Quaterly , 10 : 2 (1997) pp. 105–107. Zbl 1036.11536
[a2] M. Gardner, "New mathematical diversions from Scientific Amer." , Simon&Schuster (1966) pp. 35–36; 41–43
How to Cite This Entry:
Googol. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by M. Hazewinkel (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article