# What happened to the other dollar?

The following is a seemingly paradoxical question. I was first asked this question in an economics class in high school. The teacher refused to give the answer, and said if we figured it out, we would know if we were correct instantly. It wasn’t until after I was out of high school that I realized the answer, and later on the significance of learning the answer AFTER high school hit me even harder. Read it and discuss it below.

Suppose you and two friends are driving cross-country, and you all decide you need to stop at a hotel for a few hours,  to shower, freshen up, ect.

When you get to the lobby, the man behind the desk says they normally don’t do day rooms, it’s always over night. After a brief discussion, he agrees to give you the room at a discount, and charges you \$30 even. You and your two friends all pay \$10 each, equaling \$30, and go up to the room.

After thinking about it, the man behind the desk concludes that \$30 was too much, so he gives the maid 5 one dollar bills and tells her to split the money evenly between the three of you. She decides that she doesn’t know how to split \$5 three ways so puts \$2 in her pocket and returns 3 dollars to each of you. Meaning you and your two friends paid \$9 each per room. So the question is this:

9×3=27 dollars paid for the room total
27+2 dollars in the maids pocket=29
what happened to the other dollar?

We will discuss the answer next week, the effects it has in society, and why learning this lesson is so vital.