The Principal Fix

Sep 19, 2015

RAY: There's a high school election for senior class president, and there are three kids running, Tom, Tad, and Tim. As luck would have it they each get exactly the same number of votes: One. There's a lot of apathy in that particular school I guess. Anyway the principal calls Tom, Tad and Tim into his office and says, "Look guys, we could have another election but there's a pretty good chance that the count's going to come out exactly the same. So let's just throw each of your names into a hat, and I'll pull one out, and that'll be the winner, OK?"

Well they all agree. Sure. So he takes a clean sheet, you know, of plain white paper, eight and a half by eleven, and he folds it into thirds, and then like teachers often do, holding the paper on the sharp edge of his desk he tears the paper so that three pieces are exactly or pretty much exactly the same size. He hands each kid a piece and says, "Write your name here." And just to make sure it's on the up and up, he says, "Guys, you can blindfold me and I'm going to hold the hat. We're going to put the three names in a hat, and I'm going to hold the hat above my head and I'm going to reach in and pull out the winner's name."

Now the principal wants Tad to win because the other two kids are knuckleheads and he thinks, "If either one of these kids becomes president the school is going down, and I'm going to lose my job." So the question is how does the principal fix it so Tad wins?


RAY: Well, the principal simply tore the sheet into three exactly the same size pieces, but he gave the middle piece to Tad of course. And it had two factory edges and two rough edges. And the other pieces which came from not the middle but the top and the bottom had three factory edges and one torn edge. So when he reached in and felt the piece with the two long sides that were rough, he knew that that was the one that had Tad's name on it, and Tad won the election. So who's our winner?

TOM: Congratulations to Doug Hillborn from Yellowstone Park, Wyoming!



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