## Thursday, March 10, 2011

### Stupid Puzzle But Makes you Stuck..Missing 1 Dollar

This puzzle gets e-mailed to me all the time and i don't really like it because it's less of a lateral thinnking riddle than a bit of a trick. Plus I've always struggled to find a good way of explaining it....

3 men go into a hotel missing dollar

You possibly wont be surprised to hear that there is no missing dollar. It adds up just fine. In tring to explain this I've always thought it was helpful to consider the puzzle with some different numbers in it. (Equally it may not be helpful, you could skip to the end.) Consider this....

3 men go into a hotel.
The man behind the desk said the room is \$3000 so each man paid \$1000 and went to the room.
A while later the man behind the desk realized the room was only \$25 (he's that stupid,) so he sent the bellboy to the 3 guys' room with \$2975.
On the way the bellboy couldn't figure out how to split \$2975 evenly between 3 men, so he gave each man a \$991 and kept the other \$2 for himself.

Now at this point you would never ask:

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 \$2971?

Remember this puzzle is exactly the same. it's just the numbers from the first puzzle are confusing (to me anyway.) In this we know there is no missing \$2971 because we saw where all that money went. By making this number larger we can see it moving, we can see that it was mostly shared by the three men. In the real puzzle there are several small amounts bobbing about and they're harder to track. But the answer is the same, there is no more a missing dollar than there was a missing \$2971.