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Three people check into a hotel.

They pay \$30 to the manager and go to their room.

The manager suddenly remembers that the room rate is \$25 and gives \$5 to the bellboy to return to the people.

On the way to the room the bellboy reasons that \$5 would be difficult to share among three people so he pockets \$2 and gives \$1 to each person.

Now each person paid \$10 and got back \$1.

So they paid \$9 each, totaling \$27.

The bellboy has \$2, totalling \$29.

Where is the missing \$1?

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Answerers beware: your dollar signs need to be prefixed with backslashes. – Ben Millwood Mar 7 '13 at 10:19
Also, when I heard this story, the \$2 was a tip, not theft :( – Ben Millwood Mar 7 '13 at 10:22
@BenMillwood, now that you say it, yes, that was also the version I learned. Sounds better. – Andreas Caranti Mar 7 '13 at 10:27
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Old story, they paid $\$27$ in total, $\$25$ for the room, and $\$2$ for the (unfaithful?) bellboy.

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They did not pay $9$ each to the manager.They paid a total of $27 = 25 + 2$ (bellboy)

The total rent is $25$. Each of them got $1$ back. So the total adds upto $25+(1.3) = 28$ And the remaining $2$ is with the bellboy.

So $28+2 = 30$

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