a classic Three men decided to split the cost of a hotel room. The hotel manager gave them a price of \$30. The men split the bill evenly, each paying \$10, and went to their room. However, the hotel manager realized that it was a Wednesday night, which meant the hotel had a special: rooms were only \$25. He had overcharged them \$5! He called the bellboy, gave him five one-dollar bills and told him to return it to the men. When the bellboy explained the situation to the men, they were so pleased at the honesty of the establishment that they promptly tipped the bellboy \$2 of the \$5 he had returned and each kept \$1 for himself. So each of the three men ended up paying \$9 (their original \$10, minus \$1 back) totalling \$27, plus \$2 for the bellboy makes \$29. Where did the extra dollar go? Stefaan R. M. Meeuws Tuesday, January 13, 2004 The men ended up paying \$9 each so the total is \$27 dollars. Out of the \$27 dollars (they spent) they paid \$25 towards the hotel rent and \$2 towards the tip. Fair Deal. Naveen Tuesday, January 13, 2004 So each of the three men ended up paying \$9 (their original \$10, minus \$1 back) totalling \$27, ***plus*** \$2 for the bellboy makes \$29. ***plus*** is the culprit!! because it is not plus that should be used; minus is the one! Money given to hotel guy = \$30      (i) Money kept by hotel guy  = \$25      (ii) Money given to bell boy  = \$5        (iii) (i) = (ii) + (iii) So far , so good. Money returned to the guys = \$3    (iv) Money kept by bellboy          = \$2    (v) (iii) = (iv) + (v) So finally money paid by the guys each = \$9 That is , \$27 total. Now the big question - why would you ADD \$2 to that \$27?? The right way is to SUBTRACT \$2 from \$27 to get \$25. Commets? nik Tuesday, January 13, 2004 I remember being stumped by that one as a kid.  All you have to do is realize that the question itself is nonsense.  It essentially asks why a + b != c, when a, b and c are almost totally unrelated. Brian Tuesday, January 13, 2004 Nothing exciting to add. Just another view. The room cost them \$25. They paid \$2 as tip. So it cost them a total of \$25 + \$2 = \$27 (i.e. \$9 each). AND they have \$1 each to keep. So \$27 + \$3 = \$30. The point is that when we say >So each of the three men ended up paying \$9 >(their original \$10, minus \$1 back) totalling \$27 we are talking about the total expense and the tip of \$2 has already been accounted for. (because the tip is a part of the total expense). Adding \$2 to the total expense (again) gives you nothing meaningful. VikasRana Wednesday, January 14, 2004 and if u want to get the figure of 30 again..then take it this way: they spent 9\$  each.(effectively)..now there is one dollar with each of them. hence 9*3+1*3 =leads to the original amt 30. Vivek Jain Tuesday, March 16, 2004   Fog Creek Home