New Barber Math

Jun 13, 2015

A barber had his first customer of the day, who happened to be a friend. When he was done, the barber refused to take the money from the customer. The fellow said, "Look, I know we're friends, but, business is business. I want to pay for my haircut."

The barber said, "Here's what we'll do. You open the cash register. I don't have any idea how much money is in there. But, you match whatever is in there, and then take out 20 bucks."

The customer says, "Okay," and he does that.

The barber says, "Gee, I kind of like this." So, the next customer comes in, he gets his haircut, and the barber says, "You can do the same thing my first customer did. Open the cash register, match what's in there, and then take out 20 bucks."

The second customer does that, and he leaves. The third customer does the same. The fourth customer, after receiving his haircut, opens the cash register, and says, "I can't do it. "

The barber says, "Why not?"

"There's no money in here. Not a cent."

The question is, how much money was in there to start?

RAY: The last guy obviously saw nothing in there. So the next to last guy, i.e., the third customer had to have seen $10 dollars because he matched it and took out $20.

TOM: And there was nothing left.

RAY: In order for him to have left $10 in there, the guy before him in had to have seen $15 dollars in the cash register. He matched it. That made $30 dollars in the cash register. The first guy when he opened it saw $17.50. He matched it, took out his $20 and left $15 bucks. Do we have a winner?

TOM: It's Rose McNeally from Boonesboro, Maryland. Congratulations!

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