Whats the answer?

MJW249

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
9
0
Indiana
Three men check into a flea-bag motel. The reservation clerk says it'll be 10 dollars each, for three rooms. They pay thirty bucks, they go up stairs to their roach ridden place and he has a stab of conscience which says "i think i charged them too much, i should give them so money back." He calls his bell hop and gives him a five dollar bill and says "take this up to those 3 guys." The bellhop on the way up thinks "how do i split this five dollar bill? I'll give them each a dollar and keep two for myself, how will they know the difference?" He gives each of them a dollar back, which means now they payed 9 dollars for the room, which is 27 dollars. Plus the 2 dollars the bell hop keeps = 29 dollars. What happened to the other dollar??
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,130
5
FL
Old riddle.
Know answer.
Most people, once given the answer, will kick themselves if they thought about it more than 30 seconds.
 

Iscariot

macrumors 68030
Aug 16, 2007
2,624
3
Toronteazy
A few months later, two of the original three guests check into a hotel room in the same hotel. The clerk says the bill is $20, so each guest pays $10. Later the clerk realizes the bill should only be $15. To rectify this, he gives the bellhop $5 to return to the guests. On the way to the room, the bellhop realizes that he cannot divide the money equally. As the guests didn't know the total of the revised bill, the bellhop decides to just give each guest $1 and keep $3 for himself.
Now that each of the guests has been given $1 back, each has paid $9, bringing the total paid to $18. The bellhop has $3, so $18 + $3 = $21, and the guests originally handed over $20, so that's where the first missing $1 went!
 

lbro

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2009
537
0
Good riddle. Took me a while to figure it out.

They didn't pay $9 for the room. I think it's an order of operations thing.

Taking $5 off the bill makes them each pay $8.33 for the room.


Am I close?
Nope.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,043
4
Quebec, Canada
What happened to the other dollar??
Your poor financial planning skills is what happened. It's simply a trick. There is no other dollar. The only people who spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it are those with poor financial skills themselves.

-aggie- explained the actual way to count it, so no need to repeat it.
 

Iscariot

macrumors 68030
Aug 16, 2007
2,624
3
Toronteazy
Your poor financial planning skills is what happened. It's simply a trick. There is no other dollar. The only people who spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it are those with poor financial skills themselves.

-aggie- explained the actual way to count it, so no need to repeat it.
Do you practice being smug and intolerable, or is it just a natural ability?
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,119
1,254
Always a day away
Follow the money, as they say. Account for every dollar where it is right now and you'll see that you've incorrectly framed the question.

25 in the till in the hotel office
2 in the bellhop's pocket
1 in the first man's pocket
1 in the second man's pocket
1 in the third man's pocket
30 dollars total

Each man has paid 9 dollars, for 27 total. The clerk in the office has 25 of that, and the bellhop has the other two.
 

chordate68

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2007
198
0
Los Angeles
The wording of the problem is what is misleading.

30 (original price) - 5 (discount) = 25 (new price)

5 - 3 (# of patrons) = 2 (amount bellhop keeps)

No missing dollar.