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Little Billy was out trick or treating on Halloween. He had gotten a lot of candy and was peering into his bag, when out from behind a tree came Freddy Krueger. Freddy reached into Billy's bag and took half of his candy plus one piece. Within a few steps, Billy encountered a Great White Shark, who reached into Billy's sack and took half of his remaining candy plus two pieces. Before Billy could turn and run, a Ninja Turtle, stole half of the candy that was left plus three pieces. Now Little Billy began to cry because he only had 5 pieces of candy left. How many pieces of candy did Billy have before Freddy, the Shark, and the Ninja Turtle raided his sack?

  • Math -

    Let Billy have n pieces of candy. Tallying up all the thefts, we get

    After Freddy, Billy has n - (n/2 + 1) = n/2 - 1

    After Shark, Billy has n/2 - 1 - (n/2 - 1)/2 - 2 = n/4 - 5/2

    After Turtle, Billy has n/4 - 5/2 - (n/4 - 5/2)/2 - 3 = n/8 - 17/4

    n/8 - 17/4 = 5
    n - 34 = 40
    n = 74

    Billy had 74 pieces
    So, Freddy took 37+1 leaving 36
    Shark took 18+2 leaving 16
    Turtle took 8+3 leaving 5

    working from the other end,

    n = 2(2(2(5+3)+2)+1) = 74

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