Maths wonderkid Gary Fosdyke has shaken the normally sedate world of mathematics with his discovery of a new prime number “somewhere between 3 and 11”.

The maverick numbers guru has been searching for the elusive prime for five years. He left Cambridge University in 2018 at the age of 17 to write his bestselling book, the Fosdyke Conjecture which speculated that such a number existed. The Clayton Philmore Foundation put up $1million to the first person to provide a concrete proof.

Since then, the steampunk, tattooed brainbox has been out of the public eye. Until now.

Fosdyke announced on TikTok he would reveal the number – and “show his workings” – at his sell-out show at The O2 where he is being supported by Guns N Roses. In a tantalising hint, he said, “The number isn’t six so don’t even go there.”

Prime numbers – which can only be divided by themselves and one – are the basis of most security protocols on the internet and his dramatic announcement saw shares in the retail and banking sectors slump to five-year lows.

One London trader said, “When Fosdyke speaks, I count my fingers and toes – all bets are off when the lad does his stuff.”

Fosdyke’s reputation as a radical thinker was made aged 11 when he declared that 2 was a rounding error by the ancient Greeks and the true value of 2 was probably “about 2.1 or 2.2”.

He also calculated Pi to eight places on the East Anglian coast where he caught flatfish during a holiday in 2014, which introduced a radical new methodology to the centuries old quest.

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