Can You Figure Out Where The "Missing Coin" Goes In This Viral Brain Teaser?


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

250 Can You Figure Out Where The "Missing Coin" Goes In This Viral Brain Teaser?

Splitting the bill is always a pain. Especially when it’s between that one guy who orders the fillet steak and the other guy who only asked for tap water. But here’s a classic brain teaser that will make your awkward dinner outings seem comparatively straight-forward.

The story goes like this:


Three people decide to split the bill after a meal at a restaurant. The waiter says the bill is $30, so each guest pays $10.

Later the waiter realises the bill should only be $25. To rectify this, he takes $5 from the amount to return to the group.

On the way to the table, the waiter realises that he cannot divide the money equally. As the customers didn't know the total of the revised bill, the waiter decides to just give each of the three friends $1 and keep $2 for himself.

Each guest got $1 back. So, now each guest only paid £9; bringing the total paid to $27. The waiter has $2. And $27 + $2 = $29 so, if the guests originally handed over $30, what happened to the remaining $1?”


Glitch in the Matrix? A tear in the fabric of spacetime?

In reality, there is no missing $1. The misleading bit of the puzzle is the $2 which the waiter keeps. After all, why would you add the amount the waiter stole to the bill?

If the puzzle was phrased differently or worked out in a different order, you see more clearly they actually paid $27 for the meal. The $2 which the waiter stole is already included in that amount. That leaves three remaining $1, which rounds up to a nice $30.

(H/T: The Telegraph)


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