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# Missing Dollar Riddle

Three friends decide to split the cost of hiring a cleaner. The agency charges them \$30, so they each hand over a \$10 bill.

Later the agency discovers the rate was actually \$25 instead of \$30. They send the cleaner with \$5 to reimburse the friends.

It’s hard to split \$5 three ways, reasons the cleaner, so he gives the friends \$1 each, and keeps \$2 for himself as a tip.

But wait – each friend paid \$9, for a total of \$27, and the cleaner pocketed \$2. That’s 27 + 2 = 29, whereas they originally handed over \$30. Where did the missing dollar go?

The missing dollar riddle is a classic, well-known riddle of unclear origin – usually with a clerk and a room bill or a waiter and a restaurant bill. But it’s simple yet tricky, and may trip up even savvy puzzle-solvers.

#### Solution

There is no missing dollar.

You cannot add the cleaner’s \$2 “tip” to the \$27 that the three friends paid, because how much they paid already includes that tip – this would be double-counting. The three friends ended up paying \$27, including \$25 to the agency and \$2 to the cleaner, which adds up.