Name: Gerard
Who is asking: Teacher
Level: All

Three fellows going to a Math Conference book into a motel. "That will be $30.00" says the bellhop. Each fellow gives $10.00 and they go off to their room. The manager enters and says "That was a $25.00 room. Go and give them $5.00 back."
   The bellhop heads off but thinks....."how am I going to split $5.00 between 3 fellows? Hey I will keep two dollars and give each guy a dollar." He does just that.......each fellow now paid $9.00 and the bellhop kept two. 3 X 9= 27 plus the bellhops two = $29.00 Where is the missing dollar?

Hi Gerard

I find this to be a fascinating problem because the logic seems so natural and correct but it's not. After the bellhop has given back three dollars, each mathematician has paid nine dollars for a total of $27.00. You can see where the $27.00 has gone, $25.00 to the manager and $2.00 to the bellhop. By adding the bellhop's $2.00 to the $27.00 that has been paid you are saying that the $2.00 is in addition to the $27.00 when, in fact, it is part of the $27.00.

I hope this helps,


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