Problem: Rackbrane's Little Loss

Professor Rackbrane was spending an evening with his old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Potts, and they engaged in some game (he does not say what game) of cards. The professor lost the first game, which resulted in doubling the money that both Mr. and Mrs. Potts had laid on the table. The second game was lost by Mrs. Potts, which doubled the money then held by her husband and the professor. Curiously enough, the third game was lost by Mr. Potts and had the effect of doubling the money then held by his wife and the professor. It was then found that each person had exactly the same money, but the professor had lost five shillings in the course of play. Now, the professor asks, what was the sum of money with which he sat down at the table? Can you tell him?

Solutions: 1

Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!



Project Gutenberg

  1. Dudeney, H. E.: "Amusements in Mathematics", The Authors' Club, 1917

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this edition or online at If you are not located in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.