## A Perfect State

A perfect number is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper positive factors.

Perfect numbers, like perfect individuals, are very rare.
– Rene Descartes

They are very rare, indeed — there are only five perfect numbers less than 1,000,000,000. Because 6 and 28 are two of them, you might say that today is a perfect day.

Perfect Square: A nerd who never makes mistakes.

I recently coined the term perfect state to refer to a state for which the number of letters in its name is equal to the number of letters in the name of the state capital.

To pass the time on a recent car trip, I asked my sons to see how many perfect states they could find. During their search, they identified many states that were not perfect, and they giggled gleefully when I referred to them as abundant (more letters in the capital than in the state) and deficient (fewer letters in the capital than in the state).

They were extremely excited to learn that our home state, Virginia, is a perfect state. This did not surprise me — with beaches to the east, mountains in the west, urban living in the north, rural country in the south, and a whole lot of wine country in between, I’ve often argued that Virginia is the perfect state. (In their song Old Dominion, local band Eddie from Ohio describes Virginia as “just southeast of heaven to the surf and the hills.” Yeah, that’s about right.)

Anyway, my sons were able to find Virginia and seven other perfect states without the help of a map. Can you?

Need some help? Check out this map with a color-coded solution. The deficient states are white, the abundant states are dark blue, and the perfect states are light blue.

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The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

## MJ4MF (offline version)

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