Math Riddles


Question: You are playing a game of dodge ball with two other people, John and Tom. You're standing in a triangle and you all take turns throwing at one of the others of your choosing until there is only one person remaining. You have a 30 percent chance of hitting someone you aim at, John has a 50 percent chance, and Tom a 100 percent change (he never misses). If you hit somebody they are out and no longer get a turn.

If the order of throwing is you, John, then Tom; what should you do to have the best chance of winning?

Question: An ant gets onto one end of a tight rope that is 1 meter long. The ant is traveling at 1 centimeter per second, but the entire rope is being stretched an extra 1 meter (1,000 centimeters) a second (it can be stretched forever).

Will the ant ever reach the other end of the rope?

Question: There are 100 prisoners lining up to go to jail. Each prisoner is wearing a hat that is either black or white. The prisoners don't know their own hat color, just the hat color of those in front of them in line (the first prisoner in line can't see anyone's hat and the last prisoner can see everyone's hat except their own). Starting from the back, one of the guards asks each prisoner what color their hat is. If they are correct they get to go free but if they are wrong they go to jail.If the prisoners get to discuss a plan, how can at least 99 of them be saved?

Question: Five pirates are parting ways after finding a treasure of 100 pieces of gold. The pirates decide to split it based on a vote. Each pirate, from oldest to youngest, gets to propose a plan on how to split the gold.

If at least 50 percent of the other remaining pirates agree on the plan, that is how they will split the gold. If less than 50 percent of the pirates agree, the pirate who came up with the plan will be thrown overboard. Each pirate is smart, greedy, and wants to throw as many others overboard as possible without reducing the amount of gold they get.

What plan can the first (oldest) pirate propose to live and get as much gold as possible?

Question: Thomas has missed an excessive number of days of school, so he must meet with Principal Davis. Mr. Davis asks him "Why on Earth have you missed so many days?"

Thomas replies "There just isn't enough time for school. I need 8 hours of sleep a day, which adds up to about 122 days a year. Weekends off is 104 days a year. Summer vacation is about 60 days. If I spend about an hour on each meal, that's 3 hours a day or 45 days a year. I need at least 2 hours of exercise and relaxation time each day to stay physically and mentally fit, adding another 30 days.

Add all of that up and you get about 361 days. That only leaves 4 days for school."

The principal knows Thomas is full of it, but can't figure out why. Where is Thomas going wrong?