# An old problem!

• 01-09-2003
FearOfTheDark
An old problem!
Ok, this is an old one:

3 friends hire a room at a hotel, wish they each have to pay 10\$ for. So that the total price for the room will be 30\$.
But then the owner of the hotel discovers that their room just costs 25\$.
So he orders the piccolo to go up to their room to give the 5\$ back.
But this is a kind of clever piccolo, who understands that it will not be possible to split 5\$ on 3 persons. So he decides to give the 3 friends a dollar each and then keep the rest, 2\$ for him self.

Ok, that's fine, but if we think a little about this we'll find a verry strange thing.

The 3 friends have payed 9\$ each, and the piccolo took 2\$, but there was 30\$ in the beginning. So what happened to that missing dollar?

Enjoy!
• 01-09-2003
vasanth
Have you ever learnt maths in school...
• 01-09-2003
FearOfTheDark
Thank you Einstein!
OK, this is not hard!
But the point is that some people tend to do a caculating misstake the first time they see this problem! I'm one of them! But after some thinking, when you've switched of the autopilot you ofcourse get i right!

Am I the only one who got this experince when i first saw this problem?
• 01-09-2003
fry
Quote:

Am I the only one who got this experince when i first saw this problem?
Chances are most people know this one, so its not very exciting to see people post the same things again :)
• 01-09-2003
...
yes, kind of old, and if someone who hasnt seen the problem has scrolled down this far, they are probably looking for the answer.

watch the '0's...

Code:

```0000000000 0000000000 0000000000```
this is the \$10 each person payed for the room. but now the room only cost \$25. so we have to take \$5 out.

Code:

```00000000  00 00000000  00 000000000  0```
then each customer is given \$1 back.

Code:

```00000000      0    0 00000000      0    0 000000000          0```
you see where the mistake is made in the telling of the story? in actuality, 2 of the customers only payed \$8 for the hotel. the other payed \$9, but because of the way the piccolo handled it (by keeping the extra dollar of each of the \$8 customers) the customers had no way to tell.

so it is not, as the story would have you to believe:

9 + 9 + 9 + 2 = 29

but rather:

8 + 8 + 9 + 5 = 30

or, if you want to let the piccolo keep his \$2 tip:

9 + 9 + 10 + 2 = 30
• 01-09-2003
jessie23
yeah this is one ive heard before. lets see something original please.
• 01-09-2003
Govtcheez
Give him a break - it's still an interesting puzzle.

And to be fair, I've never seen it told with a "piccolo" before...
• 01-09-2003
jessie23
it is an interesting puzzle, but a common puzzle as well. i havent seen it with piccolo either. but ill be nice and give him a break.
• 01-09-2003
>>> i havent seen it with piccolo either

A piccolo or picoline is a semislang semiofficial job title in Scandinavia. They're gophers basically.
• 01-09-2003
Govtcheez
That's basically what I assumed - I just thought I'd add that anyways
• 01-10-2003
kevinalm
Actually, a clearer way to analyze the problem is this:

When the owner discovered his mistake, the original transaction was voided. It essentially ceased to exist. Because of the dishonesty of the piccolo, what actually occured was this.

3 x 9 = 25 + 2
• 01-10-2003
ammar
Quote:

Originally posted by Govtcheez

And to be fair, I've never seen it told with a "piccolo" before...

That's great...
I'll just make a new post with a teacher instead of the piccolo, because you think it's not fair... And you can delete it later:D !