Posted by **Ben Eckman** on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 4:22pm.

In preparation for a party, Heather fills a jar with gumdrops. Before the party begins, Erik sees the gum drop jar, he (hoping that no one will realize) takes one-third of the drops. Soon after sonia takes takes one-third of the gumdrops(she too, hopes that no one will notice). Finally, neel appears and like the others he takes one third of the gumdrops. if forty are left in the jar, how many did it originally contain?

- Math -
**Steve**, Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:01pm
There were x gumdrops at the start.

After Erik raided the jar, there were 2x/3 drops.

After Sonia, there were 4x/9 drops

After Neel, there were 8x/27, which was 40

So, 8x/27 = 40

x = 135.

check:

Erik got 1/3 * 135 = 45, leaving 90

Sonia got 1/3 * 90 = 30, leaving 60

Neel got 1/3 * 60 = 20, leaving 40

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