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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