The peanuts and the monkey

Five men checked into a hotel with a bag of peanuts and a monkey. They planned on dividing the peanuts evenly the following morning. However, during the night, one of the men got up, divided the peanuts into five equal parts, took his fifth and had one leftover peanut which he gave to the monkey. He put the other shares of peanuts back into the bag and returned to bed.

A little later, a second man (who did not know that the first man had been up) divided the peanuts five ways and took his fifth. He also had one peanut left over, which he gave to the monkey, and he returned the rest of the peanuts to the bag.

Likewise, during the night the third, fourth and fifth men got up and divided the peanuts, and each had one left over for the monkey. The next morning they divided the remaining peanuts equally five ways. How many peanuts were originally in the bag?

Click here for the solution

3,121 peanuts.

more riddles

How many – how much?

The engineering department was arranging for a rather expensive catered lunch to bid farewell to their retiring colleague. They calculated that it would cost each person $30. One good mathematician remarked, "It's lucky that there aren't five fewer of us to split the...

read more

How far?

You are in an airplane which is flying 500 miles an hour through the air. If you throw a ball above you and it spends five seconds in the air, how far behind you will it land?It will fall to the same spot from which it was thrown.more...

read more

How many descendants?

Very few people bother to determine what an amazing potential for overpopulation they have. Let us consider yours. If you and your wife have a meager two children, it would seem you are not adding much to the world. But let's suppose that in 5 years each of your...

read more


The letters on the glass doors of a beauty parlor read correctly when viewed from the street. How would this lettering appear when seen in a mirror in the parlor, which reflects it from a mirror, which reflects it from another mirror?The lettering would appear...

read more