“How much was lost?”: Riddles from the Internet


Like a calm sea wave on a warm sunny day at the beach, the internet periodically comes up with mind-boggling questions that stir up the entire online sphere. Except the waves aren’t calm; it’s a tsunami—designed to blanket everyone with a question with no consensus to the right answer.

Just recently, this riddle attracted the attention of the internet:

How smart are you?….. A lady walks in the store and steals [sic] $100 bill from the register without the [sic] owners knowledge. She comes back 5 mins later and buys $70 worth of goods with the $100 bill. The owner gives her $30 in change, how much did the owner lose????

The riddle (see featured image) continues with a choice of possible answers, with a reminder to viewers to “not [sic] over think it.” Easier said than done!

So, what is the right answer? For starters, it’s $100. Here’s why:

As the lady in the riddle steals $100, the store loses $100—easy part. Now as the lady returns to the same store [assuming that’s what thieves do] she pays the same $100 to the cashier. At this point, the store did not gain or lose anything, so zero. And here’s the important part: As the lady accepts the $70 worth of goods, the store is now at a $70 loss. To top that, the cashier hands over $30 in change, hence the total loss of $100.

The internet continues to be riddled by riddles—pun not intended. Two years ago, the “blue dress or white dress” has polarized the internet community enough to warrant the attention of big companies pitching in with their hashtags.

It’s worth mentioning that participating in these riddles do not create losses for participants. As for the cashier in that riddle however, he/she probably lost her job.