Math Riddles


Question: You have a bag with 'N' strings in it. You randomly grab two ends and tie them together until there are no more loose ends.

In the end, what is the expected number of loops (strings tied to their own end)?

Question: There are 1600 people sitting around a circular table. The first person (person 1) has a sword and kills the second person then hands it to the next alive person (in this case person 3). Person 3 stabs person 4 and gives the sword to person 5. This goes on until person 1499 kills person 1500. Then person 1 kills person 3 and so on. This is repeated until there is only a single person remaining.

Who remains in the end?

Question: There are 100 coins scattered in a dark room. 90 have heads facing up and 10 are facing tails up. You cannot tell which coins are which. How do you sort the coins into two piles that contain the same number of tails up coins?

Question: What 3 positive numbers give the same result when multiplied and added together?

Question: Three guests check into a hotel room. The clerk says the bill is $30, so each guest pays $10. Later the clerk realizes the bill should only be $25. To rectify this, he gives the bellhop $5 to return to the guests. On the way to the room, the bellhop realizes that he cannot divide the money equally. As the guests didn't know the total of the revised bill, the bellhop decides to just give each guest $1 and keep $2 for himself. Each guest got $1 back: so now each guest only paid $9; bringing the total paid to $27. The bellhop has $2. And $27 + $2 = $29 so, if the guests originally handed over $30, what happened to the remaining $1?