Riddle of the missing money

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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.



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