Viral Brain Teaser: Can you find out how much money the store lost?

Sep 27, 2023 11:43 PM IST

The brain teaser that has so far raked up over 50.2 million views asks people to solve a simple maths question.

A brain teaser that has raked up millions of views online challenges puzzle enthusiasts to solve a seemingly simple maths problem. The brain teaser has left many scratching their heads as they find out how much money a store lost when someone steals a $100 bill and buys goods from it.

How quickly can you solve this maths puzzle?(X/@NoContextHumans)
How quickly can you solve this maths puzzle?(X/@NoContextHumans)

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“I’m still trying to work out the answer,” reads the caption of the brain teaser shared on X (formerly Twitter) by an account called Out of Context Human Race. The question written on the paper reads, “A man steals a $100 bill from a store’s register. Then he buys $70 worth of goods at that store using the $100 bill, and gets $30 change. How much money did the store lose?” A hundred dollar bill is kept next to the paper with this maths question.

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Take a look at the brain teaser right here:

The brain teaser was shared on September 24. It has since accumulated over 50.1 million views, and the numbers are still increasing. Many even took to the comments section to share answers they got after solving the brain teaser.

Here’s what people posted in the comments section of this brain teaser:

“The store lost $100. Then they got that $100 back. So far the store lost $0. But, then the store had to give back $30 in change. So, the store lost $30 for sure. Store also lost $70 worth of goods. So, the store ultimately lost = $30 in cash + $70 in goods = $100 total,” posted an individual.

Another commented, “+100 -70 +30 = $60 in thief pocket. Store: -100 -70 +70 -30 = -130 store lost in merchandise and cash combined.”

“The amount of money was 30 but they also lost 70 worth of merchandise,” remarked a third.

A fourth added, “The store lost a total of $100. Here’s the breakdown: 1. The man stole $100 from the register. This is a loss of $100 for the store. 2. He then buys $70 worth of goods using the stolen $100. The store receives the $100 bill back, but it’s the same bill that was stolen. So, there’s no gain or loss from this transaction yet. 3. The store gives him $30 in change. This is an additional loss of $30 for the store. Adding up the two losses: $100 (stolen money) + $30 (change) = $130. However, the man also left with $70 worth of goods. So, the net loss for the store when considering the value of the goods and the money is still $100.”

“There are 3 transactions here. 1. The transaction that led to having the $100 bill 2. The transaction that led to the $70 tab 3. The difference between the 2 profit margins It really depends on the markups for each individual transaction and expenses to carry all 3 of them out,” shared a fifth.

Were you able to solve this viral brain teaser?

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    Arfa Javaid is a journalist working with the Hindustan Times' Delhi team. She covers trending topics, human interest stories, and viral content online.

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