The hotel has $25 + the mailman has $2 = $27 that the friends payed.
Original: "3 men go into a hotel. The man behind the desk said the room is $30 so each man paid $10 and went to the room. A while later the man behind the desk 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 a $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 the $2 that the bellboy kept = $29. Where is the other dollar?"
It seems this is just trying to confuse people by incorrectly adding the $2 to the total amount paid, even though that makes no sense whatsoever.
Why someone would fall for that is the true riddle.
@SharePoint Guy:I thought I was a little too old and overqualified to have problems with addition and substraction, but the riddle is pretty good
Each man actually paid $8.33 as $25 / 3 = $8.33
Add a $1 refund = $9.33
$9.33 * 3 = $28
$28 + $2 = $30
Just in case anyone was struggling
Although I preferred my original answer of the hooker's tip...
@SharePoint Guy: How can it be $3 for each person? Wouldn't it be $1 for each person?
3 X $1 + $2 = $5
The fault in the riddle's proposed calculation becomes much more obvious if you do it with a larger refund. Let's say they get a $10 refund instead, and the mailmain/bell boy/whatever keeps $1. Now they each paid $7*3=$21, plus the $1 kept by the mailman is $22. Are we supposed to assume that $8 has now gone missing? No, of course not, because the calculation is meaningless and wrong. You have to subtract instead of add: they each paid $7*3=$21, minus the $1 kept by the mailman equals the $20 that the hotel/restaurant has. Same with the original: $9*3=27, minus the $2 equals $25.
The only reason anyone can think there's something deeper going on here is because the difference is only $1. If the difference were bigger (like in the situation I just gave) I think people would be much quicker to realize the calculation is bogus and that nothing "disappeared".
@Sven Groot:I originally thought it was to do with the speed of neutrinos or something, then I came to the thought that it might have something to do with Steve Jobs being gone. But after I while I figured it out.
@Sven Groot: This riddle is dependent on the reader's falling for the bad math that's set up by the question:
This meant that the 3 men each paid $9 for the room, which is a total of $27 add the $2 that the bellboy kept = $29. Where is the other dollar?
It's as silly as this riddle:
How do you pronounce the capital of the State of Kentucky? Loo-ee-vil or Loo-IS-vil?
Of course, the answer to that is "Frankfort" (pronounced "frank-furt").
If the question didn't try to set up the math for you, you'd think of the $2 as the tip and automatically add it to the bill ($25). So you end up with the total being $27 and no math confusion at all.
Did you consider that the missing $1 might be quantum locked? (That makes the whole thing a lot easier to understand)
So what was this "world's hardest riddle"?
@cbae: The guy who posted that riddle never answered and it was attracting complete idiots so I deleted it.
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