Skip to main content

The Million Dollar Suitcase - A Puzzle

Sometime back, I encountered a puzzle posted by a member in a LinkedIn group. It was called a Million Dollar Suitcase. A scenario with a challenge was described and we had to find a solution. It went like this:
Three suitcases are all labeled incorrectly, and you must get the labels right in order to find the million dollar suitcase (the one full of hundred dollar bills). 
The labels on the suitcases read as follows:
  • $100 Bills
  • $1 Bills
  • Both ($100 & $1 Bills)

You are allowed one test. You may remove only one bill from a single suitcase, after which you must make your determination. You can’t peek into the suitcases. Can you find the million dollar suitcase?

The Solution

I read about it and devised a solution before checking it out on the site. My explanation was:
Assuming all of the suitcases are definitely mislabeled - we can safely remove one (i.e. the $100 suitcase) from the game and consider only two suitcases: $1 and Both. 
If we select the one labeled "$1" for examination, we have half a chance to get into some trouble. If the bill you remove from the "$1" suitcase is actually $1, then we are saved, since it obviously is both. But if happens to be $100, we have no way of confirming if it is actually the "$100" suitcase or the "Both" case. 
Therefore, we go directly to the suitcase labeled "Both". It can only have two types of bills - either all $1 or all $100. So, when we remove a bill and find it to be $1, then we pounce on the suitcase labeled $1 and run for it. It it is $100, then we just got ourselves a million dollars! :-) 
However, all of this based on the presumption that none of the suitcases are what they are actually labeled to be. If there is any chance that even one of the cases may actually be what the label says, then this method won't do.  
And this solution turned out to be correct! :-)

Check out Innovation Bound for more interesting stuff.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My New Love - The Learning Continues

I have had - and still have - quite a few loves in life.

Like that coffee, freshly brewed in the morning; the rain that pours at night, leaving the wet earth of dawn as the only evidence of her mysterious visits; Sunday mornings; the lights of the city on a weekend evening; an early morning train ride on a relatively empty MRTS; my Amar Chitra Katha collection; walking through the streets of Thirumylapuri - or Mylapore - to visit Kabali; an evening turning to night on the Bessy Beach - and the list goes on.

I now have another addition to this endless list of loves. She was selected after a lot of thought and discussion.


She is a Royal Enfield Himalayan - all of 411cc, a good amount of power and performance at my call, with just a twist of the throttle! The automotive forums are abuzz with a common theme - niggles and issues with the bike, as well as with Royal Enfield in general. However, there are an equal number of happy owners, who enjoy the bike as those with issues continue thei…

Booktalk - The Secret of the Nagas

The Secret of the Nagas is the part two of the Shiva Trilogy and continues exactly where the first book The Immortals of Meluha stops.

The book begins with a small, but intense skirmish between the mysterious Naga warrior and the Shiva-Sati couple. The couple underestimate the Naga and end up injured. But what puzzles them is the apparent lack of viciousness on part of the Naga, who, although he had many chances to kill either of them, leaves Shiva and Sati alive with only minor wounds. From this point the story thrillingly unfolds further.

A lot of new characters are introduced, and identities and backgrounds of quite a few old characters are revealed - many of them quite shocking. But nothing is as shocking as the revelation on the very last page of the book!

Like in the first part, in this part too, Amish, through his protagonist, continues to raise the question - if something is apparently evil, is it actually evil? What is good and what is evil? Through Shiva's discussions w…

Sri Ganesha Charanam!

अगजानन पद्मार्कम् गजाननम् अहर्निशम्।
अनेकदन्तम् भक्तानाम् एकदन्तम् उपास्महे॥
agajānana padmārkam gajānanam aharniśam|
anekadantam bhaktānām ekadantam upāsmahe|| What a beautiful verse to behold and listen! I heard it first when this verse was suggested as an invocation for our magazine Yuva Bharati by my brother a couple of years ago. (Yup! I promptly posted it on facebook - even social networks have been permeated by spirituality :-D)

A couple of months back, I had the good fortune to sit at the feet of Swami Dayananda Saraswati and learn this same verse - how to say it and its meaning. Recollecting that experience from memory, I'll try to share the beauty and the brilliance of this verse here.
ānana means face. Gajānana is the Lord who has the face of an elephant or gaja. On seeing the face of Gajānana, the face of Agaja, daughter of the king among mountains (aga), Himavan or Parvata, one who is called Himavati or Parvati, lightens up. This is so natural and open, like how a padma o…