Brainteaser: The Dishonest Bellhop

Three men decide to share a hotel room for the night. The desk clerk charges them $30. They each pay $10. After they go to their room, the desk clerk realizes the room is only $25, so he gives the bellhop $5 to take to the men. On the way up, the bellhop decides to tip himself $2 for his trouble. In the room, he gives each man $1 -which means that each guy actually paid $9 for the room.

So: 3x9=$27; the bellhop kept $2; that adds up to $29. Where did the other dollar go?

An hour later, two women check into another room. The room is $30; they each pay $15. Again, the desk clerk realizes the room is only $25, so he gives the bellhop $5 to take to the women. This time, the bellhop keeps $3 for himself and gives $1 to each of the two women. So each woman actually $14 for the room.

So: 2x$14=$28; the bellhop kept $3. That adds up to $31. And that's where the missing dollar showed up. Or is it?

Continue reading and it will all be explained.


Highlight the following space for the real explanation. The math does add up -the question is just worded in a misleading way. Look at it like this: The $27 spent by the men INCLUDES the $2 the bellhop kept. Thus, the men paid $27 (the bellboy kept $2, and $25 went to the front desk).

The women paid $28 (the bellboy kept $3, and $25 went to the front desk). You SUBTRACT the bellhop's tip from what the guests paid, you don't add it.

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Great Big Bathroom ReaderThe article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Great Big Bathroom Reader. Highly recommended!

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts.

Check out their website here: Bathroom Reader Institute


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