mgf1107lecture11 - MGF 1107 EXPLORATIONS IN MATHEMATICS...

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MGF 1107 – EXPLORATIONS IN MATHEMATICS LECTURE 11 The 17 Camels Paradox A man owned seventeen camels. When he died he left behind three sons. In his will he wrote that his property should be divided as follows: He bequeathed half his property to his eldest son, one-third of his property to his second son and one-ninth of his property to his youngest son. The sons were in a quandary wondering how to divide 17 camels into half, one-third and one-ninth parts. They went to the Wise Man for advice. “No problem!” said the Wise Man. “Add my camel to yours and now how many camels do you have?” “Eighteen camels,” they all said. He looked at the eldest son and said, “Your share is half the total camels – half of eighteen works out to be nine – so take your nine camels and go away.” Nine camels remained. Then he looked at the second son, “Your share is one third the total camels – one third of eighteen works out to be six – so take your six camels and leave.” Three camels remained. Finally he looked at the youngest son, “Your share is one ninth the total camels – one ninth of eighteen works out to be two – so take your two camels and leave.” When the youngest son took his share of two camels and went away, there remained only one camel, the Wise Man’s camel. The Wise Man took his camel and walked home, having successfully divided the seventeen camels amongst the three sons as per the share decreed in their father’s will.
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