Car Talk: Barber Math

From the fantastic car talk puzzler:

NEW BARBER MATH
RAY: A barber had his first customer of the day, who happened to be a friend. When he was done, the barber refused to take the money from the customer. The fellow said, “Look, I know we’re friends, but, business is business. I want to pay for my haircut.”

The barber said, “Here’s what we’ll do. You open the cash register. I don’t have any idea how much money is in there. But, you match whatever is in there, and then take out 20 bucks.”

The customer says, “Okay,” and he does that.

The barber says, “Gee, I kind of like this.” So, the next customer comes in, he gets his haircut, and the barber says, “You can do the same thing my first customer did. Open the cash register, match what’s in there, and then take out 20 bucks.”

The second customer does that, and he leaves. The third customer does the same. The fourth customer, after receiving his haircut, opens the cash register, and says, “I can’t do it. ”

The barber says, “Why not?”

“There’s no money in here. Not a cent.”

The question is, how much money was in there to start?

3 thoughts on “Car Talk: Barber Math

  1. The answer is that each one of them ripped off this silly barber and that his register only started with $17.50.
    Person 1: 17.50 + 17.50 -20 = 15 (man walks away with a -$2.50 haircut – nice friend!)
    Person 2: 15 + 15 – 20 = 10 (man walks away with a -$5.00 haircut – big jerk!)
    Person 3: 10 + 10 -20 = 0 (man walks away with a -$10.00 haircut and cleans out the poor silly barber – thief!!
    Person 4: Either very honest or he wants an extra $20.00 in his pocket and a free haircut.

    -Bill

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