The numbers can be grouped by pairs:
999,999,999 and 0;
999,999,998 and 1'
999,999,997 and 2;
and so on....
There are half a billion pairs, and the sum of the digits in each pair is 81. The digits in the unpaired number, 1,000,000,000, add to 1. Then:
(500,000,000 X 81) + 1= 40,500,000,001.
First he split them in to piles of 3, 3, and 2 bricks. Then he weighs both groups of 3 with each other. If they balance he knows the brick is one of the 2 unweighed bricks and he can weigh them to find the heaver one. If the the stacks of 3 bricks do not balance, he will weigh 2 of the 3 bricks. If they balance he will know the brick left unweighed is heavier, or if they do not balance, he will find the heavier one.
Fire up your brain and see if you can remember your multiplication tables and more! See! There are reasons to use math outside of school!