March 27, 2015

Homework Help: trick question

Posted by CINDY on Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 6:44am.

three guys then who went to share a motel room on a fishing trip, the cost was $30, so they each paid ten bucks. The owner then decided that the cost was only $25, and sent one of his employees to pay back $5 to the guys, the employee thought you could not divide the five bucks between the three guys too easily, so he gave them each a dollar back, and kept two, telling them the cost for the room was $9 each, so $9 times three is $27, plus the $2 bucks the employee kept makes $29, so what happened to the one dollar to make the $30 they started out with?

can any one explain this to me

Perhaps I have missed the point but there is no extra dollar. At the start of the transaction the three guys have 30 dollars between them. At the end of the transaction the guys have 3 dollars, the gopher has 2 dollars and the owner has 25 dollars - total 30 dollars.

If it was the alternativr transaction. At the start of the transaction the three guys have 30 dollars between them. At the end the guys have 3 dollars between them and the owner has 27 dollars - again total 30 dollars.

I don't get the point of the question either.

$30 total - $3 back to the guys - $2 for the employee = $25

This question is as old as the hills, heard it over 40 years ago.

In your last sentence you are adding things that don't "belong together"

That is like saying "the temperature is 72 degrees and I have 6 dollars in my pocket, for a total of 78"

the fact that 29 is close to 30 is an intended coincidence.

A classic in misdirection that never ceases to confuse, initially.
The misdirection comes from using the specific numbers resulting from the transactions in an improper way. We start with 30, followed by a 5 which is then broken up into a 2 and a 3, leading to a 27 by subtracting the 3 from the 30, plus the 2 giving us the inconceivable result. If you simply list the transactions indentifying the location of all the money, you soon see that all the money is all accounted for.
Cash in hand................Men...Hotel...Clerk
1--Men have $30............30
2--Men---$30---> Hotel.....0........30
5--Final distribution.........3....+...25..+...2 = 30.

The misdirection comes from stating that the men paid $9 apiece for the room or $27 in all. Had the clerk given the $5 to the men and they, in turn, gave him a $2 tip for his honesty, they could have easily concluded that they paid $9.33 apiece for the room, (30 - 5 + 2)/3, making their total outlay (9.33x3) + 2 = $30.

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