3 men go into a motel. The desk clerk said the room was $30, so each man paid $10 and went to the room. A while later, the desk clerk realized the room was only $25, so he sent the bellboy to the 3 guys' room with $5. On the way, the bellboy couldn't figure out how to split $5 evenly between 3 men, so he gave each man $1 and kept the other $2 for himself. This meant that the 3 men each paid $9 for the room, which is a total of $27. Add to that the $2 the bellboy kept and the total is $29. Where is the other dollar?

We have to look at exactly where the money is going. If we look at the orginial 30 dollars, the owner keeps 25, the clerk gets 2 and the guys get 3 back. Ok, that adds up. Now how much did they actually pay? Well 27 dollars, and 25 of it went to the owner and 2 to the clerk. The problem is the $2 the clerk gets is being added to the $27, when it is already included, essentially guy paid for a $25 room at tipped the clerk $2.

i was told eistein came up with htis joke, and presented it in a speech at MIT. -and yes, there is an answer, but i can't remember it ;g

You don't add the $2 back in. They each paid $9. because the bellboy kept $2. If you subtract $2 from $27 you get $25. Just a simple math problem set up to confuse you. This is why I did not do better in school HiddenEyes

Yup. The $27 the men paid INCLUDES the $2 the bellboy kept. No need to add the $2 to the $27. This is an example of asking a bad question. It's like asking someone "Have you stopped beating your wife? Y/N" For someone who never beat his wife, there is no proper answer to the question. It is an improper question. Interestingly enough, an acquaintance of mine thinks this riddle is one a example of where math is inconsistent and incorrect. I've tried over and over to explain the "language game" problem, and how you cannot directly answer an improper question. Nonetheless, he KNOWS he's right and math has some problems. Too funny. Koski