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Lunch Bunch

On the last school day in March, the cafeteria served lunch ala carte. Five friends, Julie, Nicole, Jack, Mark, and Adam, bought their lunches at the same time. When Jack carried the tray to the table, they discovered that everything was mixed-up so that it was hard to tell who had ordered what item. Can you find out, using the clues below, which student ordered which lunch and how much each student paid?

Here is what the tray contained:

  • 2 bowls of chili at $1.00 each
  • 2 ice cream floats at $0.40 each
  • 1 chili dog at $0.80
  • 2 cartons of milk at $0.25 each
  • 2 hot dogs at $0.65 each
  • 3 bags of potato chips at $0.25 each
  • 1 soda pop at $0.25
And some other helpful information:
  • Each student had one beverage and either chili, a hot dog, or a chili dog
  • The people who ate chili did not buy potato chips
  • The girl with the chili dog drank milk
  • The girls ordered the same thing to drink
  • Jack did not have potato chips but his lunch was the most expensive
  • Julie's lunch was the least expensive
  • Mark and Jack had the same beverage
  • Each person's lunch was different
Have fun...they can't eat until you solve the problem!


Source: B.W. (middle school teacher, Whatcom County)

Hint: Set up an 8x5 grid, with student names on the horizontal rows and the meal items on the columns. Then try to fill in information from the clues...


Solution Commentary: This is a fun problem...and requires testing out some assumptions along the way. But, read the clues carefully....I read one clue incorrectly which led to me tossing away the solution...until I tried the problem the next day (once my mind had been calmed).

I will not provide a solution (is it unique?) as you will know if you get the correct meals to fit the clues. But I will add one more hint...

Adam ate chile.....