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andyrose
07-18-2002, 10:42 PM
A friend of mine, who is a bright Trigonometry student, showed me this riddle his professor showed him the other day. Let me post it first:

"Three men get a hotel room for the night. The innkeeper charges them \$30 total for the room.

They split the bill, \$10 apiece.

The innkeeper realizes that he overcharged the men, the room was only supposed to be \$25! He sends a bellhop to the men's room. The bellhop gives the men back \$3, and keeps \$2 for himself.

The men had originally paid \$10 apiece, but after they get the \$3 back, it means they only paid \$9 apiece.

\$9 X 3 = \$27

The bellhop kept \$2.

\$27 + \$2 = \$29

The men originally paid \$30.

Where is the other dollar?!?! "

After I puzzled it over for awhile, my friend *kinda* told me the answer. He said that it had to do with the number 3, and limits. I didn't study limits much in college, so this went a little over my head.

What I need for you guys to do is to explain to me what the answer to the riddle is.

I posted this on my website, and no fewer than 10 people got so pissed off at the riddle, they were foaming at the mouth. Here's an example of what one of my posters says is a fault in the riddle(most of the reponses have claimed that the math done in the riddle is totally wrong):

posted by someone on my forums

"andy if the 2 dollars the bellhop took isnt accounted for in the 27 that would make the total amount of money 32 then

lets look at it your saying the men paid 27 and the inkeeper sent the bellhop to the men with 5
if you add those together thats 32

andy your wrong the 2 is in the 7

the inkeeper had 25 which means in reality the men each paid \$8.33 the bell hop had 2 and the men had 3 dollars of the original 30

andy im sory but this riddle is flawed

who ever thought it up is a moron plain and simple

calculus nor any other math will make it right to add 2 dollars back into its self

and if your saying the inkeeper had 27 of the original 30 and the bell hop took 2 of it then the men each only got back .33 cents and not a whoel dollar each "

Alright, there's my problem. I posted a riddle without knowing the whole answer, and the villagers are going to stone me if I don't give them a valid answer. :P

Any help appreciated here.

Kevin H
07-18-2002, 10:51 PM
A quick google search would have provided the answer. The first link when I searched for "bellhop charged 25" was..

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/lornejf/01puzl01.html

The answer is in the way the question is worded. You cannot add what one person HAS to what someone else has PAID and come up with any kind of a meaningful number, you have to subtract.
Each man has paid \$9.
The bellhop has \$2.
Difference \$9 x 3 = \$27
2
\$25
The hotel clerk has the other 25 dollars.
To look at it from the standpoint of the original \$30. Each man has \$1.
The bellhop has \$2.
The hotel clerk has \$25.
Total \$1 x 3 = \$3
2
25
\$30

07-18-2002, 10:52 PM

They now have \$3.

The bellhop has \$2.

The innkeeper has \$25.

3 x 9 =27 = 25+2

Klaatu
07-18-2002, 10:59 PM