Posted by **Megan** on Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 8:41pm.

How do I set this problem up and solve it.

Mrs. Muniz's algebra class was collecting money for a party. The class decided that each student should give the same amount of money. They collected a total of $9.61. If everyone used 5 coins, how many nickels were collected

961 is only divisible evenly by 31, so 31 students must have given 31 cents each. (31 x 31 = 961)

The only way to make 31 cents with 5 coins is: one cent, two dimes and two nickels. Since its says everyone used 5 coins (which would be very unusual), there must have been a total of 31 x 2 = 62 nickels collected.

You can't do this problem with algebra. I is an exercise in mathematical logic. The key to the problem is to find the number that divides 961 evenly. There is only one such number, 31.

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