View Full Version : An old problem!

01-09-2003, 05:09 AM
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?


01-09-2003, 05:13 AM
Have you ever learnt maths in school...

01-09-2003, 05:26 AM
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, 05:32 AM
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, 08:43 AM
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...


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

00000000 00
00000000 00
000000000 0

then each customer is given $1 back.

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, 08:46 AM
yeah this is one ive heard before. lets see something original please.

01-09-2003, 08:54 AM
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, 09:06 AM
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, 10:01 AM
>>> 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, 10:02 AM
That's basically what I assumed - I just thought I'd add that anyways

01-10-2003, 01:09 AM
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, 04:45 AM
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 !