# Math Error

## “So what happened to the other dollar?”

#### April 14, 2010 by Bryan McDonald · 1 Comment · General

From Belle Prater’s Boy, by Ruth White, Page 72.

“There were three men, see?”  Woodrow began.  “Went to a hotel in New York City, where I hear tell everything costs more than anywheres else.  Anyway, they were charged thirty dollars just to sleep one night in a hotel room, if you can believe it.  They grumbled, but each man paid his ten dollars, which makes thirty dollars, right?  Then they went up the stair steps to their room, which, by the way, had three beds in it, so nobody had to double up.  it wadn’t no sleazy place.’

“After they went up, the hotel manager suffered a ‘cute attack of conscience, and he thought, well, maybe he might have overcharged the men.  So he took five one-dollar bills out of his money box there under the counter, and he told the boy he had to run errands for him to take the bills up and refund the gentlemen some of their money.”

“So the boy goes, and on the way he puzzles over how he can divide the five ones evenlyh amongst three men, and he sees no way to do it.  So what did he do?  He stuck two of them ones in his own pocket.  Then he gave each of the three men one dollar apiece.”

“Now, if you’re following me, that means each man paid nine dollars for his room, right?  That’s twenty-seven dollars.  The boy had two dollars in his own pocket, right?  That’s twenty-nine dollars.  So what happened to the other dollar?”

Nothing shady, going on here…it’s all in the math.  Who can explain where the missing dollar is?

### One Comment so far ↓

• kaitlin w. 5th period

There were 3 men and the room was 30 dollars so they each payed 10 dollars each they got three dollars back so each of them payed 9 dollars * the 3 men = 27 dollars plus they 3 dollars they got backed so 27+3= 30 dollars so there was no money missing it was all there and the money the boy kept had nothing to do with problem it was just a trick