Math Puzzle: Can You Solve This Meal-budget Problem in Less Than 60 Seconds?

September 10, 2019 Updated: September 11, 2019

Most of us have gone through this at some point in our lives. You are at a restaurant with a group of friends for either a birthday or some celebration at work. You order a huge spread of delicious food and have a good time; however, in the end, it is hard to split the bill.

Some people will feel that they have paid too much whereas others don’t end up contributing enough and by the end of it all, things get stressful for the person who has to calculate everything.

Here are puzzles to test your ability to remember the prices of different menu items. If you are good at math, try solving these tricky questions within a minute.

©The Epoch Times

Here, we can imagine that we’ve got several diners who are having drinks to start their meal, then an appetizer, followed by more drinks and food, finishing off the meal with some desserts.

The first round of drinks adds up to 30 units, meaning that each individual drink costs 10 units. As for the starters, each one costs 2 units adding up to a total of 6 units. After the appetizers, we can see two portions of dessert are subtracted from two drinks, which gives us 10 units. We know that the two drinks must equal to 20 units. To get the final answer of 10 units, each dessert item must cost 5 units.

For the last step, 1 drink is multiplied by 1 appetizer and 1 dessert item. So 10 x 2 x 5… And the total ends up to 100 units.

©The Epoch Times

Don’t worry if the first time splitting the bill didn’t go so well. Here’s another chance to get it right. This time around, imagine you’re at a fast-food restaurant getting a bunch of delicious snacks. In the first line, there are 3 dessert items totaling to 6 units, so each one must cost 2 units.

For the second line, three hot dogs are multiplied to get a total of 27 units, giving an individual cost of 3 per item.

However, the third line depicts an ice cream with two sets of fries. Unlike the above items, the cost of each set of fries remains a mystery. So in order to find out the value of one set of fries, subtract 12 units from 2 units, which will leave us with 10 units as the cost of 2 sets of fries and 5 units for each individual set of fries.

Now for the final line, we have 1 set of fries, 1 ice cream, and 2 hot dogs. Have you got it? This would be 5 + 2 x 6 = 17

Illustration – Shutterstock | Syda Productions

Now you’re ready for some serious mental math. Of course, you could get an app like Splitwise to do the work for you, but there’s nothing better than being able to do it all in your head.

While doing the occasionally challenging arithmetic that comes with some people ordering one thing but not another isn’t always easy, you’ll definitely become the hero of the table when you can tell all your fellow diners just exactly how much they owe.

The other benefit is that your brain gets sharp by forcing it to work in a challenging real-life scenario, and that’s something that can be beneficial to you in the long run.