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Brain teaser: splitting revenue fairly.

Posted: Saturday, October 30th, 2010 at 10:24 amUpdated: Saturday, October 30th, 2010 at 10:24 am

Well … since it is titled as brain teaser, off course the simple answer of #1 and #2 is incorrect. Here are the most common answers given:

  1. Splitting the revenue evenly (50-50) so that Person A and B both gets $4 is wrong.
  2. Person A gets $3 and Person B gets $5 is also wrong
  3. Person A gets $1 and Person B gets $7 is the right answer.

Wait … how can A gets only $1 and B gets $7 is the right answer? Well … read on …

So here’s why:

  • Total of 8 loafs of bread being eaten equally by 3 people
  • So each person ate 8/3 loafs of bread.
  • You can also think of this as each loafs of bread is sliced into 3 for a total of 24 slices and each person ate 8 slices.
  • Person A brought 3 loafs of bread, or 9 slices of bread.
  • Person B brought 5 loafs of bread, or 15 slices of bread
  • Person C ate 8 slices, 1 slice from Person A’s bread, and 7 slices from Person B’s bread.
  • The price per slice is $1. So sA gets $1 and B gets $7.

There you have it. Most people who answered A gets $3 and B gets $5 because A contributes 3 loafs of bread and B contributes 5 fail to consider that both A and B also ate from their own contribution. This, I think, is the heart of the brain teaser.

Source: many of my Muslim brothers or sisters may recognize this brain teaser from an example of Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Thalib‘s skill as judge.

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