Eavesdropping Enigma

Oct 20, 2001

RAY: A girl and her mother are out shopping. They overhear a conversation between a customer and a salesperson in the next aisle.

The customer asks, "How much does one cost?"

The salesperson answers, "One costs 99 cents."

"OK, how about 12?"

"Oh, that'll be $1.98."

"Okay, in that case, I'll take 128."

The cashier rings up the purchase, and it comes to $2.97.

Here's the question: what kind of store are they in, and what is this person buying?

RAY: Well, it's not obvious because there really is only one thing that you could buy --

TOM: I think there's only one but that would be interesting if there were two answers to this Puzzler.

RAY: Well, I don't think so. The only thing that works for me, it only works if the answer is, house numbers.

TOM: Sure.

RAY: They're in a hardware store or some such store.

TOM: And they live at 128 Blue View Terrace.

RAY: They're buying 128 for the cost of three things, because you're buying three things. You're buying number one, number two, and a number eight.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: Anyway, do we have a winner?

TOM: Yeah. Barry Ransom from Charlotte, North Carolina.

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