E05: Missing Dollar

The Missing Dollar Paradox

Three ladies go to a restaurant for a meal. They receive a bill for $30. They each put $10 on the table, which the waiter collects and takes to the till. The cashier informs the waiter that the bill should only have been for $25 and returns $5 to the waiter in single dollar bills. On the way back to the table the waiter realizes that he cannot divide the bills equally among the ladies.

Since they don’t know the total of the revised bill, he decides to put $2 in his own pocket and give each of the ladies $1.

Now, each of the ladies paid $9. Three times 9 is $27. The waiter has $2 in his pocket. Two plus 27 is $29. The ladies originally handed over $30.

Where is the missing dollar?


  1. As a Reply to this page, write a brief and clear explanation for the “missing dollar.”
  2. Feel free to consult with your classmates.
  3. Complete your work by the end of class today.

16 thoughts on “E05: Missing Dollar”

  1. There is no missing dollar because if you just number the dollars after the $25 paid and the women receiving their money back was $5. So the trick is that the riddler used multiplication to trick us. So once the waiter gave out the 3 out of the 5 dollars to the ladies it was counted as 26, 27, 28 and the other two dollars as 29, 30 was put in his pocket.


  2. The $27 is already included in the waiter’s tip. Adding the $2 to the $27 would be double counting it. Therefore, the three guests’ cost of the room, including the waiter’s tip, is $27. Each of the 3 guests has $1 in his pocket, totaling $3. When added to the $27 revised cost of the room, including tip to the waiter, the total is $30.


  3. The paradox doesn’t make sense. The actual cost was 25. But the cashier charged them 27. So $2 is the actual cost difference, which he pocketed. The $3 goes back to the ladies. The wording is not right for the missing money paradox. There is no missing $1. So the actual math is 30-25=5-2(money that was pocketed)-3= 0. So no missing money. He was adding $2 to the revised bill after adding $2 dollars to it make it 27. So the paradox was adding $4 instead of 5.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was adding $2 to the revised bill after adding $2 dollars to it make it 29. So the paradox was adding $4 instead of 5.

      *Corrected 27 to 29.


  4. I think there is too much unnecessary information in the riddle that confuses the reader haha. I’ll break it down. So, $25 went to the restaurant, the waiter got $5 back. He pocketed $2 and distributed the rest of the $3 to each lady, $1 each. Here’s the calculation… 25 (that went to the restaurant) + 3 (that went to the women) + 2 (that the waiter pocketed) = 25+3+2= $30.


  5. This took some thought, but I think I figured it out. It only adds up to 29 because we are not taking in account the 25 dollars that the women paid to the restaurant. We are just saying 9x9x9 (the amount that was essentially paid by each woman) is 27 dollars and the two dollars that the waiter puts in his pockets is 29, when in reality there are 25 dollars in the cash register of the restaurant, 2 dollars in the pocket of the waiter, and 3 dollars to each woman. 25+3+2=30.


  6. Instead of looking at it as there was $27 and $2 was kept and there is a missing dollar, you have to look at it as there was $25 dollars and $3 was returned to the women and $2 was pocketed. Therefore, 25 + 3 + 2 = 30.


  7. There is still 30 dollars its just the way the math adds up to 29 because 27 plus 2 is 29. But the bill was 25 and the waiter kept two and gave back three adds up to 30. The difference is the way you counted the money.


  8. There is no issue with the cash equaling 29$. It isn’t relevant to the total, there is 5 amongst the group, 2 with the waiter and 3 with the ladies, and then the 25, equalling 30. The fact that the multiplication adds up to 27+2 doesnt affect the total count of the money


  9. Adding the $2 to the $27 would be double counting it. Each of the 3 guests has $1 in his pocket, totaling $3. When added to the $27 revised cost of the room, including tip to the waiter, the total is $30.


  10. The women each got $1 back, adding up to $3. The waiter pockets $2, making it now add up to $5. There is $25 dollars in the cash register. $25 +$5 = $30. There is no missing dollar, it’s the wording.


  11. There is no missing dollar. Three women gave ten dollars. Their bill was only 25. One dollar was given to each lady while the waiter pocketed two. That is thirty. Trying to look at this riddle with multiplication is the trick. Addition is the only way to look at it. 30-5=25 5 remaining=3(ladies) 2(waiter).
    White paper
    place to gather sources. identifying collection with bullet points.
    -put proposal +5 into white paper copy and paste
    -start shaping ideas
    1. working hypothesis
    1a. working hypothesis
    2. Topics for smaller papers
    can stand on their own but build on your hypothesis. argue with people who feel differently.
    Definition: ex: I might need to explain the analogy between A and B. Demonstrating similarity to audience the argument.
    Cause&effect: When A happens this happens. When B happens this happens. We need A for this to happen.
    Rebuttal: ex: attack against opposing position.
    3. Current state
    brief paragraph on how you’re feeling about the progress you’re made, how opinions have changed and what you think the eventual outcome will be.
    1. there/their/they’re
    they’re: they are
    their: possessive
    there: used rest of the time
    2. its/it’s
    3. reason is because
    reason means because of
    because means reason for
    using both together is contradiction
    4. Pronouns and gender
    socially insensitive, she then he, use she and he off and on
    Pronouns and number
    ex: officer can’t be a they since it is one person and they is plural
    5. Count and noncount nouns
    use of few and less depends on if noun an be counted
    6. to/too/two
    7. periods/commas inside quotes
    always inside quotes
    8. then/than
    than: comparison only
    9. affect/effect
    affect: verb
    10. your/you’re
    your: possessive for you
    you’re: you are
    11. single/double quotes
    12. banned second person
    no “you” “yours” “yourself” in paper, look up in word processor and get rid of and replace.
    13. Plurals/ possessives
    ex: correct- America is the world’s most obese nation.
    possessive: owned of characteristics of that thing ex: most obese nation of the world
    ex: I’m in my kid’s room. singular child
    I’m in my kids’ room. multiple children
    ex: I’m in the people’s chambers
    Spell it our singular or plural and add ‘s. if it looks stupid take away last s. ex: kids’s room. looks stupid so kids’ room.
    ex: David Miles’s bookbag. Names: if you say it, write it.
    14. subject/verb agreement
    subjects agree in numbers with their verbs.
    ex: hunger and disease = harm
    hunger or disease= harms
    singular: everybody, everyone, everything. anybody, anyone, anything, somebody, someone, something, nobody, no one, nothing. Body, one, and thing. HAS
    plural: all. HAVE


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