A fool and his money

Algebra Level 2

A fool was sitting under a tree one day when the Devil suddenly materialized in front of him. "Tut, tut," chuckled the Devil. "Laziness is a sin, you know. Walk over to that pond about 100 meters from here and back to the tree... and to give you an incentive, I'll double the amount of money in your wallet every time. But because I'm being so generous, you must give me $16 for for every trip."

"Deal," said the fool. He walked over to the pond and back, took out his wallet and counted the bills... and sure enough, the amount had doubled.

He gave $16 to the Devil and made another walk to the pond and back. His money doubled again, and he gave another $16 to the Devil.

The fool walked to the pond and back a third time. Again the amount in his wallet doubled. But now he had only $16, and had to give it all to the Devil.

"Thanks," said the Devil. He chuckled and vanished as suddenly as he had appeared.

How much, in dollars, did the fool have in his wallet to begin with?


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