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Date: 03/07/2002 at 00:11:50
From: Milosch
Subject: Trick Question

Ms. G and Mr. S each bring 30 apples to sell at the market.
Ms. G sells her apples at \$1 for 2 apples and makes \$15.
Mr. S sells his apples at \$1 for 3 apples and makes \$10.

Ms. G and Mr. S combine their offer so it equals 5 apples for \$2.
In theory they should make \$25 combined, but at the end of the day
they sell all of their apples but they only make \$24.
```

```
Date: 03/07/2002 at 00:34:57
From: Doctor Twe
Subject: Re: Trick Question

Hi Milosch - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

Here's one way to explain the apparent paradox.

In order for them to combine their offers and sell 5 apples for \$2,
Ms. G must supply 2 of her \$.50 apples and Mr. S must supply 3 of his
\$.33 apples for each customer who buys 5 apples.

But Mr. S runs out of \$.33 apples after the first 10 customers, while
Ms. G still has 10 of her \$.50 apples left. So to continue offering
the combined special, Ms. G has to "mark down" 6 of her remaining 10
apples to Mr. S's \$.33 price. She loses \$.17 per apple on these marked
down apples, accounting for the "missing" dollar.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, write back.

- Doctor TWE, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.com/dr.math/
```
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