can someone answer this question... Using only whole numbers, and starting with the number 1, to what number would you have to count before finding a number with the letter "a" in the spelling?

It depends completely upon in which language you are counting. I'd have to agree that 1000 is the answer. If you allow "and" in your counting, you could consider 101, but I don't prefer that answer, as it's arguably possible to insert "ands" in just about any number. In English, all numbers are constructed of the basic numerals: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, along with the words for powers of ten: hundred, thousand, million, billion, etc. Then there are special words for the numbers between 10 and 20: eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty (ever wonder why we don't have firteen, twenteen instead of eleven and twelve?). And the multiples of ten under 100: twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety. No A's in any of those except "thousand". Good questions ermines. Any more fun ones?

ok what does 234987987934567987239486213876239987349587987623948768764325987987239847989874309809804398509239489876237698729387983745098093840980943250987340918230923987936549876324876213987643259877435023098230948798761981982739823549873450987092097219739874350943092982397621982349873498734979827398262189 plus 928734986837465872987092734098209843098345873476528762349876325987349587340983498739485762 minus 987234986987623698709734509879876283764876239870937549823948739847598709283470928354943958762987629387492 times 09832049809834579876324957987234987938479876987239847987293874987435987293879283749873459873459234987 Spell he he.........