Brain Teaser

Dr. Johnson has a container with pills.
On the first day he takes half of the pills from the container.
On the second day, he takes half of the pills that remain in the container.
On the third day, he noticed that only 2 pills remained in the container.
How many pills were there in the container, to begin with?

See the answer

Answer: 8

Let x be the initial number of pills in the container.
Then on the first day Dr. Johnson took x/2 pills, so there were x-x/2 pills left in the container.
Hence, on the second day he took ½(x-x/2) pills.
Therefore, x-1/2(x-x/2) = 2 or x- 1/2x – 1/4x=2.
Multiplying both parts by 4, we get 4x – 2x – x =8, so x=8.

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