The Problem with Numbers

The Problem with Numbers

The Problem with Numbers

I first heard this math riddle when I was still in my teens.  Instead of my job blog post for today, I decided to ask for your help in solving this puzzle.

Since the following story is not a joke but a math question, let me start with “Three women go to lunch” instead of “Three men go into a bar.”

I will start over.

Three women go to lunch.  After eating, the women get the tab.  Rounding the total up to $30.00 to include the tip, each of the three women pays $10.00.

The waitress collects the $30.00 and walks away.

Before the three women leave, the manager informs the waitress that the restaurant has overcharged the women $5.00.  The manager gives the waitress $5.00 in $1.00 bills.

On the way the table where the three women are sitting, the waitress pockets $2.00 and gives each woman $1.00.

The three women leave the restaurant.  Each of the three woman has paid $9.00 for lunch for a total of $27.00.  The waitress pocketed $2.00.  The sum of what the three women paid plus the money the waitress pocketed is $29.00.

Yet the three women first gave the waitress $30.00.

Where did the extra dollar go?

Image: Tom Brown/Flickr

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