The Missing Dollar

See if you can you figure this one out (^_-) It’s a variation of the old missing dollar riddle.

Three bankers walk into a restaurant and order some curly fries and soft drinks. Their total bill comes to $25. They decide to share the bill and each person pulls out $10. So the waiter takes the $30 and goes to get change. So far so good 😀 When the waiter returns with the $5 change the bankers realize they can’t split $5 evenly between the three of them, so they decide to each take $1 and give the remaining $2 to the waiter as a tip 🙂

Since each banker has been given back $1, essentially they each paid $9 for their meal, bringing the total to $27 for all three. The waiter has $2 as a tip. If the bankers initially handed over $30, why is there only $29 accounted for? What happened to the missing dollar? ಠ_ರೃ

dog confused about the missing dollar riddle

Can you figure out this brain teaser? No cheating now (^_^)

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11/28/2012 9:19 am


Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence

The bankers did pay a total of $27, including $2 of tip. The bill was $25. The $30 are irrelevant now. You are adding the tip instead of taking it off.

11/28/2012 11:27 am

Being an accountant I like to reconcile things:
– Reconcile cost – Invoice for $25, add the tip that’s $27.
– Reconcile funding – Funding was 3 X $10 for $30, less $5 change, then add $2 tip, that’s $27
– Reconcile out of pocket outlay – Net cash outlay by each banker is $9, times 3 bankers is $27.

That seems to reconcile OK.

11/29/2012 12:14 pm
Reply to  Derek

YOU MUST BE FUN AT PARTIES. lol jk. Good solve. I remembered this brain teaser, you explain the solution very clearly.

Mo' Money Mo' Houses (@momoneymohouses)

I hate brain teasers because I’m so bad at figuring them out!

11/30/2012 3:05 am

Even with answer it still doesn’t make sense to me

11/28/2012 3:03 pm

I am terrible at riddles but I know that puppy is A.dor.A.Ble!!!!

11/28/2012 4:33 pm

What Derek said.

Alex Yang (@yyangalex)
11/28/2012 4:46 pm

classic teaser of throwing around lots of numbers to confuse people, doing what appears to be correct “math”, and ending up with something that makes people go WUT?

they each had $10 to start, and have $1 left, so they paid $9 or $27 in total. that number includes the tip already. no need to add it!

Alex Yang (@yyangalex)
11/28/2012 4:48 pm

PS, anyone who cant figure this out in less than 2 minutes should stop blogging about personal finance hahaha!

11/29/2012 5:11 am

“essentially” is the key. 25 divisable by 3 is 8 and 1/3, so from an equal share standpoint, one of the bankers overpaid that extra penny. Thank god, our Canadian government is getting rid of the problem by eliminating the penny… By the way I like Alex’s second answer, but would shave the 2 minutes down to reading it though once only! See ya! And we wonder why money troubles rue the day.

11/29/2012 7:55 am

The bigger question is really, which banker pitched in the extra penny for his meal, assuming they each ordered the same meal of course… And who would have thought a meal of 3 bankers would only be $25, $250 more likely 🙂

11/29/2012 9:10 am
Reply to  Phil

Not only is $25 for 3 bankers really cheap, but an 8% tip ($2 on $25) is also very uncommon in Canada lol. Maybe this happened in another country. If we only look at the price of the meal itself, then I can see how one of them was swindled out of a cent :0) Maybe they can take turns paying that extra penny each time they eat together.

John S @ Frugal Rules
11/29/2012 6:22 am

I would agree with Alex, a quick shell game ( a good one at that) shifting around the numbers but it’s actually quite easy to figure out with a few seconds of looking at it.

11/29/2012 3:35 pm

These things always hurt my head. See above answers! 😉

11/30/2012 1:37 am

I suspect your missing #my2k dollars have just fallen over the fiscal cliff! Maybe look at the the beach below and subtract rather than add as @Pauline said…

Do think Dubya worked it out before passing the original legislation?