# Mr. R.’s World of Math

## Page 5: The Game Begins

One of the tallest Flying Zucchini players grabbed the ball out of the air, and effortlessly passed it to an even taller player who dunked the ball through the hoop. The fans went crazy as the scoreboard read 2-0.
“Uh-oh,” said Zander, “these Flying Zucchinis are pretty good at basketball.”
“Yeah, but we have to beat them,” said Jackie as she grabbed the ball and inbounded it to Jenna. “I don’t want zucchini pie for the rest of my life!”
Jenna passed it to Joe, who passed it to me. I passed it back across the court to Zander who shot it through the hoop. The scoreboard read 2-2 as the fans booed raucously and Zander raised his hands in victory.
The fans started chanting zu-kee-nee,  zu-kee-nee, zu-kee-nee, and the Flying Zucchinis scored again. This time Josie grabbed the ball and dribbled it down the court. She passed it to Carlos who laid it in for 2 points. The score was  4-4 and I was happy the students were playing well.
The zucchinis scored, and then we scored, and then we scored and the zucchinis scored until there were
only 20 seconds left and the game was tied 86-86. The fans were going crazy because we had the ball. We knew one more score would win it for Earth!
Jenna had the ball and passed it to Zander who passed it to Joe. There were only 3 seconds left. Joe shot the ball, and we saw it was a perfect shot as it traveled through the air right towards the hoop, but as the ball started to descend, a large green zucchini, which had been thrown by a fan, hit the ball and sent it off course. Making it bounce off the rim. The buzzer sounded and time expired.
“That’s not fair!” yelled Joe to the referee. “The ball was going in until that zucchini hit it!”
“All zucchinis, and everything they do are legal here on Planet Zucchini,” responded the referee.
“But we would have won!” we all complained.
“Yes, but you didn’t win! And now the game goes into overtime. Also, here on Zucchini, the first team to score first in overtime is the winner! And the Flying Zucchinis get the ball first.”
“That’s not fair!” we all yelled as the referee threw the ball to one of the Flying Zucchini team members. He grabbed it, and passed it inbounds.
“Play defense, everyone play defense!” I screamed, “I don’t want to eat zucchini ice cream for the rest of my life.”
The other team was quickly passing the ball from one player to the next. We played the best defense we could. Finally one of their best players took the shot. We watched the ball go up. We knew if it went in we would be stuck on their planet eating the same green zucchini for every meal for the rest of our lives!
The ball floated straight towards the hoop. It looked like a perfect shot, and there was nothing we could do. We felt entirely helpless. The fans were already celebrating victory when we saw something sailing through the air. It was green, and it was big. Zander had grabbed a zucchini from a fan, and he’d thrown it as hard as he could. It was flying straight towards the ball, and just as the ball was going through the hoop for the win, the zucchini flew underneath it. The basketball bounced off the vegetable and right into Jenna’s hands.

Zander’s zucchini saved the students chances. If he hadn’t thrown it, the students would have had to eat 3 zucchini meals a day, 365 days a year for 50 years. How many zucchini meals would the students have had to eat in total?

Enter the number of meals here (no commas please):