100% refrigerated air

3 Men Go Into A Motel. The Man Behind The Desk Said The Room Is \$30.  So Each Man Paid \$10 And Went To The Room.

A While Later The Man Behind The Desk Realized The Room Was Only \$25. So He Sent The Bellboy To The 3 Guys’ Room With \$5.

On The Way The Bellboy Couldn’t Figure Out How To Split \$5 Evenly Between 3 Men, So He Gave Each Man A \$1 And Kept The Other \$2 For Himself.

This Meant That The 3 Men Each Paid \$9 For The Room, Which Is A Total Of \$27, Add The \$2 That The Bellboy Kept = \$29.

Where Is The Other Dollar?

3 Responses to “100% refrigerated air”

1. Mike Anderson Says:

Another dollar off to Greece. Ha, ha, fooled them. There ain’t no dollar.

Each guy is out \$9, for \$27 total outlay. The Man Behind the Desk has \$25 of it for the room, and the Bellboy has an unacknowledged \$2 tip. 3*9 = 25+2. What extra dollar?

I’m beginning to think that accountants are better epistemologists than mathematicians are….

2. John S. Says:

This is an old one! My father brought this problem home from work about 40 years ago. They had been arguing about it in the lunch room for weeks.

It turns out that the sum of \$29 is meaningless. Look at it this way: suppose the bellboy just pockets the whole five dollars. Then by the same logic, each man paid \$10, which is a total of \$30. Add the \$5 in the bellboy’s pocket and you have \$35 dollars. Where did the extra \$5 come from?

Maybe Greece can use this technique to generate some Euros.

3. John S. Says:

As I recall, the way my Dad finally convinced his co-workers (with a bit of my precocious coaching) was to imagine that each man walked in with 10 dollar bills, a total of thirty dollar bills. When the whole “joke” is over, where is each one of those bills?

Twenty five of them are in the till at the front desk. Each man has one in his pocket, and the bellboy has two. That’s 30, the same as at the beginning.

Think of it as conservation of cash: money is neither created nor destroyed.

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