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Tartaglia (1556)

A man who had a certain amount of capitol, fell to gambling and made as many denarii as he had to start with. He then spend 20 ducats on a horse. He rode away on the horse to an inn where he gambled with the innkeeper and redoubled his money. He spent 20 ducats on a beautiful robe. He then left the inn and went on to the cafe of the city where he found some people gambling. There he doubled what he had left, bought a ring for 20 ducats, and found he had nothing left. How much money did he have when he started from home?

Solution:

Source: R. McGinty & J. Van Beynen's "Story Problems--Let's Make Them Just That," SSAM (April 1982)