Riddle of the missing money
Three friends
check into a hotel for the night. The clerk tells them the bill is £30,
payable in advance.
They each pay
the clerk £10 and go to their room.
A few minutes
later, the clerk realizes he has made an error and overcharged the men by £5.
He asks the
porter to return £5 to the friends.
The porter sees
this as an opportunity to make £2 as he reasons that the three friends
would have a tough time dividing £5 evenly among them; so he decides to
tell them that the clerk made a mistake of only £3, giving a pound back
to each of the friends.
He pockets the
leftover £2.
Now, that each
of the three has got a pound back, they each have paid £9 for the room which is a
total of £27 for the night.
We know the
porter pocketed £2 and adding that to the £27, you get £29, not £30
which was originally spent.
Where did the
other pound go?

The Solution

The facts in this
riddle are clear: The men were initially charged £30. It
should only have been £25, so £5 must be returned and accounted for.
£3 is given to
the 3 friends, £2 is kept by the porter  there you have the £5.
The trick to this
riddle is that the addition and subtraction are done at the wrong times to
misdirect your thinking  and quite successfully for most.
Each of the 3
friends did indeed pay £9, not £10, and as far as the friends are
concerned, they paid £27 for the night.
But we know that
the clerk will tell us that they were charged only £25 and when you add
the £3 returned with the £2 kept by the porter, you come up with £30.

