3 guys go for dinner, each buys a $10 steak. At the end of the meal, they collect $30 between the three of them to cover the cost of the meals and gives it to the waitress. She goes back to the cash register, where the overlooking manager says "Those dinners are discounted, you need to give them $5 back." So the waitress gets the five dollars, and returns to the table. Not knowing how to split $5 between the three of them, she gives 1 dollar to each of the three patrons, and kept two for herself. Now if you do the math, together they paid $30, got $3 back meaning they only paid $27. The waitress kept $2. This totals $29. Where did the last dollar go?

Turn the question into an equation. It would be 30-3+2. That doesn't represent what's going on. 30 (paid) - 5 (refund) = 25. 25+3 (given back to customers) + 2 (kept by waitress) = 30

I was there! I saw the waitress hand 3 dollars back and she kept 2. So then...how much did each guy pay for his meal then? 9 dollars...right?

$25 goes to pay for dinner $3 goes back to the guys Waitress kept $2 Seems to add up to $30 to me. They paid $27 including the waitresses' "tip." $27 + the $3 refund equals $30.

LOL. After applying the $5 discount, each man will have paid $8.33. She gave each one $1 back. That brings it up to $9.33 each. (Still talking general monies, not what they paid for the meal.) So that puts the total at $27.99. She kept $2, bringing the total to $29.99. So actually, she shortchanged them by $2.01. Remember, when dealing with word problems, the only thing that matters are the numbers.

But actually, since no actual "change" changed hands, then they didn't pay $8.33, or $9.33. And who's to say they each paid $10 to start with? Surely there was a democrat that assumed the other two guys had more money so they should pay $12 a piece, leaving him with $6 to pay.

Maybe. But the waitress was obviously a republican since she didn't tell them the whole truth about the discount and kept almost half of it for herself.

Hey Guys. Make sure that you have your taxes done by a qualified tax professional. After reading these responses in this post, you should not attempt to do your own taxes unless you don't mind Mr Taxman knocking on your door.