It is a dark and stormy night when three travelers must stop in hotel. They approach the front desk, where the front desk clerk informs them of the rate of \$30 for three men in one room. The men each hand over a \$10 bill for a total of \$30. They are given a key and go to their room. Moments later, the manager is informed of the transaction and reprimands the clerk, reminding him of the 3 men/1 room special of \$25 a night.

The manager asks the clerk to refund the \$5 to the men. Taking five \$1 bills from the register, he goes to the men's room and knocks on the door. While he waits for the men to come to the door, he realizes a problem. How can he divide the 5 \$1 bills evenly among the men? When they answer the door, he tells them that there was a special that night and that the total bill only came to \$27. He gave them each \$1 as a refund, and the sneaky clerk made off with \$2 for himself.

Though it seems everyone came out a winner, a problem occurs. In the beginning, \$30 was paid. In the end, however, the man had paid a collective \$27, and the clerk had \$2. \$27 + \$2 =\$29, not \$30. The question is: where is the extra dollar?

This is a cleverly-disguised case of subtracting apples from oranges.

It's obvious that no dollar disappeared, and misleading to demonstrate that \$27 + 2 = \$29.

Here's a couple of ways to make this more clear:

• There was originally \$30 in the world. Now the men each have \$1, the manager has \$25, and the clerk has \$2. 3 + 25 + 2 = 30.
• Consider that the men each paid \$9 (net). Then there's \$27 dollars in the hotel: \$25 in the manager's cash register and \$2 in the sneaky clerk's pocket.