The Mystery of the Missing Money

Three brothers are about to go to a birthday party and decide to put their money together to buy one big present. They search the internet and find a TV for $75 including same day delivery and decide to purchase it. The brothers each put in $25.

Later that day the 3 brothers attend the birthday party. As the brothers are about to enter the birthday boy’s house, they notice the delivery truck pull up outside. They see this as the perfect opportunity to deliver their TV present in person. The delivery man hands over the TV to the brothers and notifies them that they were overcharged and the TVs real price was $70, not $75.

 The delivery man hands back $5 to the brothers. The brothers start to fight over who gets to keep the $5, as it can’t be divided equally between them. The delivery man then has the idea of splitting the $5 up, $1 for each brother and $2 for the delivery man himself. The brothers reluctantly agree. 

 They enter the party and hand over the TV to their friend. One of the brothers then ponders over the monetary exchanges involved with purchasing the TV. He finds that it doesn’t add up, his reasoning as follows. Each brother paid $24 for the TV, $25 originally and got $1 back. 3 x $24 = $72. The delivery man kept $2 for himself, so this makes the total $74. Where did the missing money go?


Answer (highlight in order to see): In order to work out what happened to the money, it is necessary to work out where the money went when the TV cost $75 and where the money went when the TV cost $70.

 When the TV cost $75, it is simple, as the 3 brothers each paid $25. When the TV cost $70, each brother did pay $24. 3 x $24 = $72. The delivery man kept $2, so rather than add that onto the $72, you have to subtract the $2 from the $72 making $70.

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