Sunday, November 4, 2007

Funny Money

Don't remember where I picked this up, but it was years ago, probably in grade school.

While traveling there were three guys who needed to stay in a hotel overnight. Upon checking in the manager told them the cost would be $30.00 for the night. So each man took ten dollars out of his wallet and paid the manager his share.

A bit later the manager realized that he had overcharged the men for their room. It should have only cost $25.00. So, being the honest man that he was he called the bellhop over and explained his error. He gave him five dollars and asked that he return it to the men.

Now the bellhop, being clever but not necessarily honest, realized there would be no way for the men to equally divide the five dollars three ways. Figuring no one would be the wiser he decided to give each man back one dollar and pocket the other two for himself.

So that's just what he did and everyone was satisfied. The manager had done the honorable thing, the men were happy to get a refund and the bellhop made an easy two bucks for his effort.

It all sounds good and well until you do the math. Each man originally paid ten dollars apiece for a total of $30. They each received one dollar back so in essence they paid nine dollars each. The bellhop kept two dollars for himself. Make sense so far? Let's add it up now.

3 men paid $9 each for a total of $27 plus the $2 for the bellhop.

$27 + $2 = $29

Where did the other dollar go?


Mel said...



*crossing off and erasing*


*scribbling again*

*erasing and scribbling AGAIN*


katherine. said...

this is making me crazy...

kevin wecker said...

No need to worry, people! I found the lost dollar! It was in my jacket pocket the whole time!

Travis said...

Now that's why kids don't like math!!!

Jeff B said...

Mel- Sorry, remind me to buy you a new eraser

Katherine- I feel your pain

Kevin- Ah Ha!

Travis- My nine year old already has math homework that's making me think, "let's see how did we do this again?"

Mel said...


OH! New eraser!!
Penguin one, please. :-)

katherine. said...

I dunno...something’s not right…

okay wait..
look at the whole..not each guy...

original cost = $30
refund = $5
adjusted cost = $25

and then $3 was returned so...
total out of pocket $25 + $3 = $28
pocketed by bellhop = $2

adjusted cost + refund + bellhop
so… $25 + $3 + $2 = $30


please don’t EVER do this again!!!

Jeff B said...

Mel- I wonder what the animal rights people would say if I went in and asked for an animal eraser?

Katherine- Nice work. You get a gold star!

I will try to avoid math related posts in the future.

Mel said...

Oh, I'm sure the animal rights activists would sell ya the eraser!

And thank you, KATHERINE!! Woooooohoooooooo!

I'll have ya know I asked a bazillion people this question yesterday and NONE of them were talkin' to me today.

Wait til I tell 'em I know the answer but I'M NOT TELLIN'!
Boy will it be quiet at work.

Mel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene Bach said...

Hey, I'm an animal eraser. Well, in a manner of speaking. :-)

Oswegan said...

Well I haven't looked at the other comments yet, but I think they actually paid less than nine each. 25 divided by 3 is around 8.33. So each man ended up paying 9.33, and the bell hop kept the other two bucks, for a total of 30.


Good question.


Jeff B said...

Mel- I'll be on the lookout

Gene- A regular duck killing machine

Oswegan- Close, but that would still leave $0.01 unaccounted for.