Math Puzzle : A Lady steals $100 worth of groceries



A lady walks into a grocery store and steals $100 dollars out of the register without the owners knowledge.

She then buys $70 in groceries and pays using the $100 bill and gets $30 in return.

How much money did the owner lose?

Answer:(Please provide your opinion in comments below)

Owner lost $100 .
Because the owner got back $100 which was Stolen by the lady,but lost the value of groceries($70) and $30 which he gave back to women.

283 thoughts on “Math Puzzle : A Lady steals $100 worth of groceries

  1. It has to be $130

    You’re forgetting that the store owner paid $70 for the merchandise that the thief eventually purchased, so he started out at -$70 before the thief even set foot in the store. Then the thief stole $100. Now the store owner is out -$170. Then the thief buys $70 worth of merchandise. Now the store owner is out -$100. Then the store owner gives the thief $30 in change. Now the store owner is now out $130.

    Regardless, this is open-ended Facebook click-bait, with too many details missing and designed to garner as much opinion as possible.

    1. “Then the thief buys $70 worth of merchandise. Now the store owner is out -$100. Then the store owner gives the thief $30 in change”. False. The store doesn’t give 30$ back if you say that the thief gives him 70$. The store gives nothing back if he receives 70$

    2. LOL It’s not clickbait, and all the necessary information is there to “solve” the problem. I think it comes down to the fact she started the day with $0, and at the end of the day had $70 in groceries and $30 in cash. Forget everything that happened in the mean time. The owner of the store therefore is out $100.

    3. It’s actually $100. The store owner loses $100 when she steals it from the register, -100. She pays for $70 worth of groceries with the stolen $100, -70. She then receives $30 back in change before leaving, -100.

    4. By using this logic, the shopkeeper is never making any profit. Why would he purchase 70 bucks and then sell it at the same price . So, in this case the seller transaction should be ignored.

    5. Wrong. The cost of the goods before going on the shelf was already deducted so it wasn’t a part of the theft. Bottom line the thief left with $100 worth of cash and goods. The answer is $100.

    6. What if it had happened in reverse. The lady buys 70.00 in goods from the store, and pays with $100 bill, receives $30 in change… leaves the store. So far no one is out anything, just a normal transaction. Now suppose two different situations from here, 1) the lady comes back to the store and takes $100 out of the registar! and 2) Someone totally unrelated to this story comes into the store, and takes $100 out of the registar! How much is the store owner out? Now, does it make a difference (other that making it clearer) which even happened first, the stealing of the money, or the purchase of the groceries?

    7. Thank you! Someone that agrees! Other than myself,you are the only person who said the store was out $130

      1. It’s $100 which was stolen, and that’s what the store is “out”. Whether the $100 that paid for $70 of merchandise and received $10 in change is stolen or not is irrelevant. Any other way of looking at it puts more value on the stolen $100 than $100, essentially manufacturing money out of thin air. Put it another way: If we did NOT know the $100 was used again in the store, we’d say $100 was stolen. At the end of the day, the til is light $100, and that’s what the store lost. It’s confusing, sometimes, but that’s the point of this exercise, to show the logical fallacy of “where” the $100 used to pay for the merchandise and get changed mattering at all. Thanks.

    8. It’s 100….the first rule of a word problem is that you only use what is given. If you want to go that route then why not figure in mark up, overhead and whatever the store owner tax rate is. You can’t use assumptions in a word problem…you use what is given period.

    1. possibly – I’m looking at it with the same simplicity in which it was presented. Though, is there a reason why my final total wouldn’t add up — using only the information we were provided?

      1. Yes there’s a reason your logic doesn’t work, what grocery store owner pays $70 for items and then turns around and only prices them at $70? No store owner goes into business with the intention to come out even instead of making profit? If the store owner had in fact paid 70 for the items (it never says that so I don’t see where you assume that) then he is going to price them higher than 70 so that he makes some kind of profit, that’s just basic common sense when you’re in business right? Would you pay 70 for items and then only charge customers the same price that you paid? That’s just asking for your business to go under!!

        1. The store owner has overhead and employees to pay. It only matters that the woman stole $100. Now, if she is prosecuted we will let the court decide the true value of the groceries in the event they were mismarked or overpriced.

  2. cunning response as always, admin/moderator

    My point is, I understand that the register’s P&L will list a $100 loss. That’s basic math. But the puzzle doesn’t ask how much the register lost. It asks what the business owner lost, which has to include the initial investment (the “big picture”), right?

      1. usually in school examinations with questions like this, we always analyze the statements, and their relevance or connection with what is the question pointing out. with this type of question,”how much was lost” ,analyzing the situation, it only points back to the amount that was stolen. the buying of goods and receiving $30 change for the $100 are just mere normal SALES transaction.

    1. Based on this logic, the owner also lost any money that was in the til. But in reality, if the owner closed his business without the thief ever entering, the merchandise would still hold the value of $70.

    1. It’s 100 because the thief stole 100 but SPENT 70 now mind you the 100 is not in her hands anymore. So now she only has 70 Worth of food no cash back yet just imagine that. Okay then he gives her 30 back so he still lost 100. 30 in cash and 70 in food.

        1. Everybody is wrong. Again it says do not over think. So who’s going to tell the store owner the woman stole the money if no one catches her. Stop over thinking, that man didn’t lost any change. Do you know how many people buy stuff and left it there and couldn’t come back for it?, do you know how many people had pay for more than what they bought mistakenly? ???? Again don’t over think you can’t tell if he lost or gain at this moment. ….. Lol…… I was once a cashier.if the store owner knew she stole $100 bill he was going to take that money from her and simply let her walk back empty handed. …Lol……What he don’t know won’t hurt him.

      1. Finally! Someone who agrees… $60 was my assumption . ..she stole $100 …payed back $70, hence kept $30..and shopkeeper gave her another $30 (???)

    2. um thief paid with the $100 and got $30 in change so obviously a $100 bill plus the $70 in merchandise makes $100 . The original $100 is back in the register

  3. It’s 100.00. It doesn’t matter that she came back with that same money. The store is only out 100 bucks no matter what. What if she didn’t come back at all and you went in there with $100 does that $100 make a difference in the fact that the owner was robbed of 100 bucks earlier??

  4. Ask yourself where the 100 is. It’s back in the register. She paid with the SAME $100. It’s like it was never gone. Get it?

  5. Let me correct myself.
    -100 was the stolen money
    +70 when the goods were bought, which leaves…
    -30, which is the change given back to the thief
    That evens out the $100, so he’s still down $100 in the register.

  6. The owner loses $30 in money (since got $70 back), but also the cost of the goods. Per Nameless, the cost of the goods could not be $70, so the real answer depends on the cost of the $70 in merchandise. Hello does anyone not know this. Once you determine the cost of the merchandise you add that to the $30 in lost money. Answer

    1. Profit margin should have no impact. The amount the owner coulda, woulda, shoulda made is what owner has a right to claim as the loss

    2. It’s funny to hear how sure you are! Lol The merchandises’ cost is irrelevant. It’s the merchandises “value” that is considered a loss. Let’s say I buy a 10,000 car from my grandma for 1.00. My buddy wants to buy it from me for 2.00 because he knows I paid 1.00 (so that’s a great deal)……If I do sell it to him for 2.00, I just lost 9,998. The value of the groceries was 70.00. He loses 100 total.

    3. I agree what the store owner lost was the cost of the goods plus 30.00. Since we don’t know what the cost of the goods there is no answer.You are caution not to over think it.

  7. If you think about it from the theif point of view, the lady walked away with 70 in product and 30 in cash. Owner lost 100$

  8. The 100 she stole
    Then she purchased 70 merchandise
    Got 30 bucks back
    That equals 200 dollar loss in the end
    The 100 dollars maybe the same 100 bill, but it will still be missing in the drawer at the end of the day.

    Think about it, say she didn’t steal the 100,there for it would still be in the drawer, then the lady comes in and pays with her own 100 then she would get 70 worth of merchandise and 30 dollars back at the end of the day the drawer will be 100 dollars short ,30 dollars back and 70 dollars worth of merchandise = 200

    1. Ding ding ding..someone got it..people are forgetting that 100 was already part of the p&l cause someone bought 100 dollars worth of merchandise the owen was up 100

    2. It says she Co especially back using The $100 dollar bill, as in the one she stole. If she didn’t steal the $100 she more then likely wouldn’t have had the money to buy anything

    3. Omg no the $100 will NOT still be missing at the end of the day. She paid for the groceries so the $100 bill goes back into said drawer folled by the cashier then removing $30 from the drawer to give the lady. So that means there is now $70 of the original $100 now returned to the drawer. So at this point there is only $30 of the original $100 still in the lady’s possession and out of the drawer. So now if you take to $70 in merchandise that she didnt actually pay for because it was the stores money from the biginning and you add that $70 to the $30 she received in change it equals $100 so that is the final answer.
      100-70=30 then 30+70=100
      Wow its so simple i just cant understand all of the confusion
      Its actually hilarious!!

      1. but you didnt include the 70 dollar that she bought from the original bill.? 70 worth of goods. 100 stole 70-goods ) back 30.
        100 bill stole
        -70 goods with the girl
        30 back to the girl
        is it right

  9. The owner still lost $100. The thief just basically traded 70 out of that 100 dollar bill for products. The thief didn’t gain anything more.

  10. Why would anyone determine how much the owner paid for the goods? That is irrelevant to the riddle. Just because you sell groceries for $70 doesn’t mean the owner paid $70. Therefore u wouldnt double count $70. Its $100 hands down. Simple.

  11. You are by far the most correct, assuming that the stock is sold at its manufacturer price. This is how it goes.
    he starts off with -100 then he receives 70 but loses stock assuming worth 70 so no change is made here (still -100 because 70-70=0) then he gives her 30 which adds up to -130. I completely agree with your last statement so true.

  12. In my own answer is:

    lady stole $100
    then she buy for groceries which is:

    original Amount of the grocery+profit of the owner=$70 (groceries)

    then he get a change of $30

    so the owner loses should be: Original Amount of the Groceries+$30

  13. Think of it this way. Prior to the theif coming in there was :
    100 in the till
    70 on the shelf
    170 total

    After the theif left there was
    0 in the till
    70 on the shelf
    -100 overall

    After the theif bought the groceries there was
    70 in the till
    0 on the shelf
    -100 overall

  14. Exactly! Beginning of the day the store has $100 in the register, $70 worth of merchandise and that $30 in change. End of the day – 70 in merchandise, – 30 in change = – 100… But let’s not forget that the $100 she paid with was the stores also. $200.

  15. Actually, the owner was paid $100 in a previous transaction. Then the owner lost that $100. Then he lost $100 in free groceries and change, but was giving back the original $100 bill. The first $100 worth of product was paid for so zero loss. the Second $100 of product and change was not paid for, so a $100 loss. 0(loss) – 100 + 100 – 100= -100

  16. Technically the owner lost $80-$90, because he didn’t pay retail, but lost the potential to make $100. This isn’t a riddle by the way; I had to answer this question on a test as a extra credit question when I was in school. There is only one right answer.

  17. How do you know the store owner paid $70 for the merchandise? If he sold it for $70 I would like to assume he paid far less for it so he could make a profit. Given the information in the post the answer being looked for is $100. The person gave the $100 back to the clerk meaning they were even again. Then the person walked out of the store with $70 in groceries and $30 in change $100. Because of the information that was given and that fact that it was multiple choice. The obvious answer is $100. Had we been told what the store originally paid for the merchandise and then knew his markup and were given more information and different answers to choose from, your method would be correct. But right now you are wrong. You were not looking at this with simplicity as you state in a later post. You tried to add more information than was given. You took the simplicity of it and tried to flush it!

  18. “If the owner paid $70 for the merchandise, then how is he supposed to run a profitable business”
    They are basing it off how much he would get when someone buys it, not how much he paid for it in general. You’re overthinking it.

  19. Remember the $30.00 in change is from the $100.00 which was stolen from the cash register, therefore; the answer is the owner is out $170.00.

    1. America is simply full of mindless people who can’t add. If I steal $100 from your wallet and go spend $70 at Walmart and they give me $30 in change, it doesn’t cause Walmart a loss. It doesn’t matter what is done with the money, the answer could not be more simple, it is $100.

  20. He lost the 70 in merchandise… what he paid for it doesn’t matter his profit would have been 70 bucks plus the 100 taken out the draw

  21. The answer is 100 in the simplest form. It doesn’t ask anywhere to calculate the loss including him buying the products at cost or not. Stop reading to much into it

  22. I take $70, $100 from register..$170 debt.
    Give back $100 ..$ 70 debt.
    Clerk give me $30 in change ..$100 debt.

    The answer is $100.

  23. Well if we wanna get technical, the owner wouldn’t have bought the groceries and sold them at the same price. There is no point to that. He could have bought them for $12 bucks and marked them up. But that’s not the point to this question.

  24. the 30 was out of the hundred that she has stolen, so when he gives her the 30 back its still from that hundred so no extra money lost, there just the hundred and then the 70 in products, making the total loss 170

  25. Lets consider if the cost of the merchandise the thief bought is $100… the owner just lose the merchandise.. not the $100 bill…

  26. Ok, it would be like someone stealing a 5 off of you and then they come to you and said I’ll buy that object off of you for 5.00. You sell it to that person. You have your 5.00 back and the only thing your out is the 5.00 object. So I think the owner would only be out the 100.00.

  27. Owner loses 100 dollars. owner gives 70 dollar merchandise. owner is returned 70 of lost 100 dollars owner gives 30 dollars.
    (-100) + (-70) + (70) + (-30) = -130 = D
    -100 – 70 = -170
    -170 + 70 = -100
    -100 – 30 = -130 = D

  28. She takes the $100, hes down $100.

    She gets her merchandise total is $70.

    She gives him $100. His till is evened out (her transaction is not completed at this point.)

    He completes the transaction and gives her back $30 in change.

    So with the $70 purchase paid for with $100 that should have already been in the register, once counted at the end of the day it will appear $70 short. Add to that the $30 she got back as change from her illegitimate purchase the register will total out to $100 short.

  29. Stores do not charge the same amount for products they purchase and sell. How would they make profit if they bought and sold $1 for $1. Example: company purchase a snickers for $0.85; company in turn sells snickers for $1.25. The company has gotten back the $0.85 they spent for thr purchase plus $0.40 profit.

  30. Simple when he counts down at the end of the shift the register will be short 60 dollars. When he does inventory he will be short 70 dollars. Not knowing his initial investment in the merchandise thats all u can go off of. In the books for that day assuming no other loss he is down $130. Which is the exact take for the thief that day.

    1. The thief took $100 unknowing to store owner, then returns and picks out $70 worth of merchandise. Now when the thief hands store owner the $100 if the store owner had known, and told the thief to leave, at that point the store owner is out nothing. But since the store owner didn’t know and handed the thief the $70 in merchandise and change of $30 he’s back to a loss of $100.

  31. No I think that it says: ‘the woman pays with the 100 bill’ so then she sound get 30 bucks back if she buys for 70 dollars

  32. If you sell 100$ worth of oranges and lose the 100$ then sell 70$ worth of oranges you’ve sold 170$ worth of oranges but are still missing 100$ worth of oranges!

  33. If you sell 100$ worth of oranges and lose the 100$ then sell 70$ worth of oranges you have sold 170$ worth of oranges but are still missing $100 worth of oranges!

  34. It’s $100. Look at it this way. Instead of the $100 being taken.
    I walked into Walmart and the cashier gave me $100 for no reason. I went to the liquor cabinet and bought $70 worth of booze. Cashier gave me $30 of that same hundred back. It’s simple! Only $100 was taken so only $100 can be lost! Right???? Nobody took anything more. Basically I bought booze with the same money I stole and only left with 30 because I bought 70 in booze. Walmart is out a hundred oops


  36. It is amazing and slightly worrying that people can’t do this simple puzzle.

    To get the right answer, just think how much (in goods and money) the thief leaves the store with. That is obviously what the store owner has lost. ($70 +$30)

    1. But what about the items the $100 originally paid for? The stolen money was obviously originally used to pay for 100 worth of goods. So if I steal 100 the owner is out 100. If I go in and purchas 70 worth of good and use the stolen 100, they are now technically put 170, because not only are they out 100 for me stealing the money, they not just lost 70 worth of goods. The 30 in change means nothing because it was part of the original 100.

  37. So what your saying is because the lady paid for the product regardless of the fact that it was with the stolen money we shouldn’t count that as an additional theft? And also the thief did not go to another store she went back to the store she originally stole the money from. If you receive or take money by ill begotten means you cannot then use that money to legitimize purchases of your choice from any business.

  38. The easier way to look at it is to focus on what the thief has at the end. The thief came in with nothing and left with $100 of goods and money. $70 in groceries and $30 in cash.

    The grocery purchase is legitimate – she didn’t steal the groceries (she paid for them). She stole $100 and at the end of the day she still had $100 worth of goods and cash. $70 in groceries, $30 in cash. The owner lost exactly what the thief gained $100 ($70 food and 30 cash).

  39. If the owner is returned 70 as you say, it means you’re already accounting for the 30 he gives back, so you shouldn’t deduct it a second time.

  40. Answer: 100
    Owner was minus 100 from the start. The same thief came back in and bought 70 out off the same 100 bill and was given back change from the same 100 dollar bill, 30. The thief gave back 100 and got in free 70 groceries and 30 in change, When the cashier do the paperwork, its till going to say she is 100 short.

    I am over thinking this situation tho….. i mean nothing is free anymore…. so a part of me want to say $170. When the owner does it’s annul inventory counts, they are gonna be -$70 in groceries.

  41. Let’s say the owner paid $1 wholesale for oranges and then rebuys his oranges at retail for $5 the owner has bought the item twice now! technically the owner would be out (wholesale cost of goods + Retail cost of goods + $100)

  42. Pretty simple math… Just because they word it like a riddle doesn’t take away the basic math…if I go out to a bar and steal 100 dollars from the cash register and then proceed to drink 70 worth of drinks the bar is out both the 100 and the 70….= 170

  43. Actually, you’re doing the exact same working and considering the exact same factors everyone else is, but you have made an error.
    If we go from the store owner sitting at -$170…
    the thief then hands over $100, so the owner is now sitting at -$70. In exchange for this, the thief wants $70 worth of groceries, so the owner hands over the groceries, along with $30 in change, so they are finally sitting at -$100.

    The error is not factoring in the whole $100 bill during the exchange. If the thief buys $70 worth of groceries, then the owner gains $70 and thus has a net profit of -$100, and no change is required. Change of $30 is only issued if you factor in that the goods are paid for with the $100, as there net profit will become -$70 once that $100 dollar bill is handed over, and -$100 once they hand back $30.

  44. The owner would have just lost $100 IF the woman would not have come back in the store to get groceries. She did though. She used the $100 that was not hers originally, unbeknownst to the owner….who in return gave her $30 back out of the register… now the owner is only out $70…BUT she walks out with $70 worth of groceries so the owner lost $140.

  45. Maybe try look at what the thief has at the end of the day.. $70 in groceries and $30 change. Where did the other $30 go if the store lost it?

  46. Nope. Take the money out of it. Say I stole your iPad. Then 5 minutes later I brought back your iPad. Then I took your sunglasses and phone. You aren’t still short an iPad.

    I get where you are coming from, I see your math there. But think if it in 2 transactions. First she steals the 100 and then gives it back. At that point the register is fine. Then she walks out with 70 in merchandise and 30 in change. At the end of the day the register will be out 100.

    1. The question is how much did the owner lose, not how much cash he lost. If someone steals merchandise from you, even if they paid you with your money, you still have double the loss. Now the owner has to purchase an extra product to cover the cost of the first. So if the guy took $70 worth of merchandise, I, as a business owner, will have to dip into my savings to purchase and replace that item. So I lost double. Continue the equation, there’s more to it.

  47. am thinking with a simple mind. the lady steals the 100 bill. so the till loses 100. say she goes out drops the 100 bill. someone picks it up n returns to the store like any normal customer. buys 70 bucks worth of grocery n gives 30 change. end day he jus lost 100 bucks that was plain stolen. how much he actually lost taking into consideration of his profit n loss of the goods is a different matter with data we arent furnished with. so pretty open ended n vague riddle.

  48. It’s $100.
    Without the first part, just seeing “buys $70 of groceries, pays, gets change…”, everything is normal and even. the only change is “she takes $100” in the first part, so… he’s down $100.

  49. $100. It would only be $170 if she stole the $100 from the register AND shop-lifted the inventory. She didn’t shoplift- she paid for it with the stolen $100. So even though the owner got back $70 of his original $100, he gave $70 worth of inventory for it. The $30 in change was just the difference in the price she paid and the amount she gave at the register. End of the day, the register is still missing $100 when it’s all counted up because she stole cash- not groceries.

  50. How much you are “out” means how much worse off you are. Firstly, regarding the purchase of goods, forget the “giving of $100” and “receiving of $30 change”. That’s just there to confuse you. Pretend the thief pays with exact change, i.e. $70. The second thing to notice is that transaction itself is irrelevant to how much the shopkeeper loses, you can view it the same as you would another customer coming in after and buying $70 worth of goods. Infact the purchase of the merchandise was likely to give the shopkeeper profit (reducing his loss of $100) but we’ll hold things equal and compare two scenarios; one where what is described in the problem happens, and another where the thief doesn’t steal anything and just buys $70 worth of goods. Assuming for simplicity the shopkeeper has $100 in his till: Scenario A: Thief steals $100, buys $70 worth of goods. Shopkeepers till = $100 – $100 + $70 = $70. Scenario B: Thief simply comes in and buys $70 worth of goods: Shopkeepers till = $100 + $70 = $170. Differences between the two scenarios = $170 – $70 = $100 so the shopkeeper is $100 worse off, which by now should seem trivial.

  51. 170! The lady steals $100 purchases $70 of goods so already the company loses $100 and then subtract $70 of merchandise. The $30 in change is already subtracted in the $ 100 lost in the $100 stolen in the beginning thus yielding $170 total loss.

  52. My niece posted this question and my answer was 200 store lost but some are saying that’s not correct. Now it’s got me second guessing

  53. $200.

    Because she stole the first $100, bought $70 in goods, received $30 in change from said $100.

    $100 from register
    +$70 goods (because she got to leave with the goods that were paid for with stolen money)
    +$30 change
    $200 loss

  54. The drawer will be missing the $70 she should have paid but she “stole” the groceries (because that $100 already belonged in the drawer and was not hers) plus the $30 that was given to her. So down $100. Even if she paid with her own legetimate $100, she would still be taking the groceries home and getting the $30 that was owed to her. But instead, she stole that $100 by using what was originally in the register.

  55. No, she stole $100 from the jump. So, therefore, that is $100 loss to the business. She then proceeded to “purchase” $70 in goods from the store (at retail prices) with monies that were not due to her. That in total is $170. Then, she received $30 “cash back” from the transaction. That is a total loss to the business of $200.

  56. Fucking idiot reality 100 gone, initial in pocket gone…. never profit, should of been, then false profit back from thief… so total lose 200

  57. Let’s say that the woman didn’t pay the owner with the $100 bill she stole. If she payed with exactly $70 and not the $100 bill she stole, then she wouldn’t have gotten the $30 change back. But she would still walk away with $30 left over and $70 worth of stuff. So I believe the answer is $170.

    She stole $100, that puts the owner at -100. She buys $70 worth of stuff, but PAYS for it with $100.
    So owner is at -100 when she steals, he is at -170 when she get the $70 worth of stuff, but she gives the owner an EXTRA $30 for only $70 worth of stuff, so the owner is at -140 before he gives her her change back. Then the owner gives her the $30 change back bc she gave the owner $100 for only $70 worth of stuff. So the owner goes from -140 to -170. The owner looses $170.

    1. yes he did not receive $70 but its the price of the goods he buy, then he got the change of $30 plus the $100 he stole, so the total lost of the owner was $200

      1. But I think it means overall loss, not the gross loss, so you have to take into account how much was given back

  58. It’s just worded to make you think that. The lady actually gave the $70 back which went BACK into the till (as if it had never been taken out in the first place). So essentially it’s as if she only stole $30 from the till and then ran around with a bag and stole $70 of merchandise off the shelf.

  59. OMG…ok all mathematically its $100 = 70 in goods + 30 change… but think about it i recon that it would be around $65 dollars
    $30 tendered as change
    plus the value of the goods at trade cost not retail value so estimate this to be around $35
    as if you claimed on the insurance for the goods lost you would get payed at the purchase price not the estimated retail value,
    as if this was the case 30 +35 =$65 approx.
    If you claimed full retail value on the insurance it would be fraud.
    and every business would steal they stock every day and make a profit
    buy for $35 steal Claim and get payed for $70…

  60. There is no loss on product. At the end of the day if there is a cash reconciliation and an inventory reconciliation done the cash recon will be off not the inventory. That sale of $70, while funded with a stolen bill, was part of normal business. Items totaling $70 left the store and were recorded as they should have been. It was the $100 leaving the register that was a true loss to the owner.

  61. $100… Think about it this way, $100 dollars is stolen out of the till and a 5 mins later a completely random new person comes into the shop and buys $70 worth of groceries with another $100 dollar bill… The second part is irrelevant and designed to confuse. The later transaction has no bearing on the original theft!

  62. He will not be short 70 in merch. He will have sold 70 in merch. The merch was recorded in the sales register and paid for, it’s irrelevant that it was paid for with stolen cash.

  63. What are you talking about it’s not $200 because the $100 that she took out of the drawer she handed him back so then she had zero and he had the hundred again but then he gave her $70 worth of groceries and $30 in cash making him out $100 again

  64. The question is how much did the owner lose, not how much cash he lost. If someone steals merchandise from you, even if they paid you with your money, you still have double the loss. Now the owner has to purchase an extra product to cover the cost of the first. So if the guy took $70 worth of merchandise, I, as a business owner, will have to dip into my savings to purchase and replace that item. So I lost double. Continue the equation, there’s more to it.

  65. The question is how much did the owner lose, not how much cash he lost. If someone steals merchandise from you, even if they paid you with your money, you still have double the loss. Now the owner has to purchase an extra product to cover the cost of the first. So if the guy took $70 worth of merchandise, I, as a business owner, will have to dip into my savings to purchase and replace that item. So I lost double. Continue the equation, there’s more to it.

  66. There is no way of knowing the cost of the goods. no one would sell good for the same amount they purchased it or there would be no profit..

  67. I steal 100 from your wallet. I see you’re selling a tv on Craigslist for 70. I buy the tv from you. You’re telling me you’re only short 100 dollars? Or more logically are you short 170? Because had I not stolen the money, and someone else bought the tv, you would have 170 in your wallet. Now you only have 70 in your wallet and you’re short a tv and 100 dollars, equaling 170. Because you basically lost 100 and bought a tv for someone else for 70 because it was your money that bought it. It doesn’t matter what you made back from that person who stole the money, at the end of the day any company will show a loss of 170, and it doesn’t matter what the owner could by groceries for, the loss is calculated based on the retail price. That’s like me saying I stole your $20000 car but only have to pay you 5000 because that’s what it cost to manufacture it. Are you happy with that? If so, tell me where you live and I’ll hold you up to that. If the owner didn’t know that it was his money paying for the groceries then I could see how people would assume it’s only 100. But the riddle gave us that detail and we know better. And if you still think it’s only 100, seriously, tell me where you live because I could make a killing off of you, because if I can steal your money, get something from you for free because it wasn’t my money that paid for it, and still walk away with money to spare and somehow you’re only short the 100? Ignorance at its finest

    1. You started with $100 and a tv (you have $100+TV). Someone stole your $100 ($0+ tv). They come back, give you $100 to buy the tv, you give them $30 and the tv (you now have $70 and no tv)

      You originally had $100+TV
      You ended with $ 70+no tv
      You are out $30 and however much the tv cost you – let’s pretend you paid $70 for the tv. You are out $70tv and $30, which equals $100.

  68. Guys/girls Let’s think of the girl only .. at the end of the day , what did she have in her possession when she left the store ?

  69. She hands him a $100 dollar bill and only bought $70 dollars worth of food. Since its a $100 dollar bill she gets $30 back in change…

    1. Yep thats my understanding, overall loss of -$30, no overthinking with grocery value, honestly who takes that into account

  70. why are so many people over thinking this problem? The first transaction was illegal and the second was legal. Therefore, the owner is out $100. The added transaction is there to make you think. 😀

  71. Wouldn’t he be already out -$100 worth of goods to begin with because obviously that $100 was paid for prior goods that of course the owner of the store purchased to sell to begin with. So first off he is out that $100 worth of original goods. Then she purchases $70 worth of goods and pays for it, so let’s scratch out the loss of the $70 because technically those goods were paid for, then he gives her an additional $30 from the drawer so to me it just seems logical he was out $130 total as the store owner.

  72. My answer is the same, agreed! I think they tell you don’t overthink it so you really don’t and they express that twice in the riddle. That tells me definitely over think it because it’s not that easy.

  73. My answer is $30

    Originally -$100, then the theif gives back the $100, so the owner loses nothing overall, but then the owner gives another $30 in change, leaving total lost as -$30, no need to over think with grocery value or anything.

      1. after thinking over and over again, i think the correct answer was $100, because the $70 & the change $30 was a formal business transactions…

  74. come on guys … its 70 and 30 … that’s it …. what if she borrowed the 100 from him ,
    Bought the groceries …. what does she owe him ??

  75. Owner is out 100$. At the end of the day the register is supposed to have 170$ in it but instead only has 70$. Therefore, 170-70=100 lost. The answer is 100.

  76. It all depends!!…we know the owner is for sure out of $30 in cash, now the real question is how much did the owner really lose out in the $70 in goods, at this point the owner would have to see what it says on paper as far as the goods bc u know they bump up prices to make a profit, so therefore after that is calculated the owner might not have lost out that much, i.e… if the wholesale price of the products came to say $45 then u would add that to the thirty and that would be ur total loss!

  77. As a business owner, It would be looked at differently… The store’s inventory would have had to have been paid for before the woman came in, therefore -$70. The woman then steals $100, which will be shown to the store owner once he cashes out, now -$170. Then the woman buys $70 worth of goods from the man and gives him $70, now the store owner is at -100. Then the owner gives her $30, now the owner is at $-130. And now that the woman has bought $70 worth of goods, the owner will have to replace them, so he will have to spend the $70 to get them back. $-130-$70 = -200… It says don’t think too much about it, but I am not sure how you can legitimately think about this problem with free and endless inventory. The real world does not work that way. In the real world, the store owner would be out $200 at the end of the day.

    The til at the end of the day will show that the owner is out way more than $100.

  78. Ha ha! The irony of the statement “Don’t over think it” was lost on this entire thread. LOL.
    My answer is $100.

    Stolen: $100.
    Purchased Groceries — Value of $70. This is opportunity cost that can never be recovered.
    Change given: $30.
    The total loss is $100 (part of which was stolen and returned…but offset by the taking of groceries in it’s place, and part of it made up of the $30 change).

    The harder question is: how many times would the groceries need to be sold to replace (recover) those groceries? That would depend on the margin or cost of the groceries. That’s why when someone steals a pencil worth $1…the true impact (if cost was $0.10) is the need to purchase and sell 10 pencils to recover the sale of one stolen pencil…not to mention the additional shipping cost not incorporated into the cost of the pencil! Staggering.

  79. The owner was out the cost of the goods before the situation arose, therefore is irrelevant. The opportunity cost of the potential sale is still a factor…

  80. The thief is reliable for 170 bucks in cash and product. If she was caught she would be charged with 2 crimes theft under 500 for the cash and shoplifting for the product so the owners lose would be 170.

  81. Not true…an insurance agent would reimburse the retailer for replacement cost, not retail value. The retailer is out the $30 plus the cost of the product…probably around $50, for a total of $80.

  82. Yes she stole $100 in total but the register would only be short $30 as that’s what he gave her as change. The store owner wouldn’t figure the lost product till he did an inventory count or his quarterly tax but it would be filled as a lose anyhow so technically he only lost $30 after tax write off but the thief gained $100.00 cash/product no matter which way you slice it

  83. This is how I see it. Your making 150 transactions a day let’s say. Now on this transaction of 70 dollars the computer will assume the customer paid it from their pocket. But since it was from the register, at the end of the day you will be short 70 dollars if everything else went well. The owner will be short that money plus 70 dollars worth of potential profit. And 30 dollars extra given from register. 170. Right?

  84. Yes it’s still gone. It’s 100 the answer because that how much the register will be short. Once the groceries are rung up and paid for then it evens out,Only the original 100 that are missing is what counts.

  85. Picture it this way, lady walks in steals $70 worth of groceries and steals $30 from the register and walks out… class dismissed.

  86. Picture it this way, Lady walks in and steals $70 worth of groceries and $30 from the register and walks out…. Class Dismissed.

  87. Let’s say Jane ( Jane is a great thiefs name) stole $100.
    Jane feels guilty and puts the $100 back.

    The store owner wouldn’t notice anything missing.

    Jane gets hungry.
    Jane steals the $70 of groceries to make dinner tonight, but wants a nice bottle of Merlot to have with dinner.
    The store owner has a current loss of $70.00 worth of groceries.

    This store doesn’t sell booze.

    She then comes back in taking $30.00 from the till, to go down the street to the bottle shop. They have put in security cameras as Jane has been working this store previously ( wait till you get that one to solve) and she won’t risk getting caught in this store stealing before dinner. Remember she is hungry!

    So the grocery store is down $30 in cash and a sale value of groceries worth $70.

  88. It doesn’t matter that the $100 stolen was used to purchase $70 goods and get $30 change. The only loss is the actual theft of $100 cash. In fact, the pedigree (stolen, earned, or gift) of the $100 used for the purchase doesn’t matter at all–and never will. That’s because at the purchase, $100 was exchanged for $30 change and $70 goods, which is an even exchange. The only thing not even here is $100 originally stolen. It’s $100. Thanks

  89. Some of these answers really scare me for the sake of humanity! As so many have clearly stated, the owner is out $100. To those who are trying to factor in cost and profit of the groceries, the owner is still out $70 regardless of his markup because he’s losing the initial purchase cost plus his markup/profit, both combined totaling $70.

  90. This is the way I think of it. Say you start your day with $500 in your register. The women comes and steals $100 brining your register down $100. If your total sales for the day was $70, hypothetically your register should total too 570. But your register is only at $470 because of the $30 change the cashier gave the customer. Therefore the owner has lost $100.

  91. Think of it like this,
    You take $100.
    Go back and buy $70 in things and received $30 in change.

    So you basically you gave back $70, but stole $70 worth of things, and still have $30 in your pocket.
    Therefore the answer would be 100

    If you don’t over think it and add things to the problem, it’s pretty basic, but these riddles are designed to make people over think. Just like good old fashion word problems in math class.

    1. Yes! The source of the $100 for $70 purchase and $30 change is irrelevant. It’s simply $100 stolen that is the loss. Amazing how many folks don’t get this. Thank you!


      STOLE $100…Out $100

      Same as me stealing $100, but then changing my mind….I don’t want the $100…Take it back, my wife needed milk and diapers, instead give me $70 of milk and diapers and $30 cash instead totaling $100


      Loan me $100

      I change my mind…don’t loan me $100, take it back, I’d rather have your $70 concert tickets and $30 cash instead (whisper’s under breath…but I’m never paying you back…muahahahahah)… I’ve gotten away with $100 worth of your shit.


      Running into a bank

      Stealing a $100 bill

      then remembering “shit, no one in this little town takes $100 bills”

      Here bank teller…take this $100 bill back…give me (70) 1 dollar bills, (1) 20 dollar bill, and (1) 10 dollar bill instead.

      How much have I taken from the bank?


  92. Simply seen it’s 100. period.

    But…Let put some not so crazy assumptions in play:
    -The thief would probably not buy the things if she didn’t steal it first
    -The groceries the thief would buy, could be destroyed (overdue date) instead. So they might not being sold any more to any one else, before they perished, thus cancelling their potential value.

    In this specific case the shop owner would be set back a little less than 100, due to the profit he makes on the products he had to trow away otherwise and was only possible because the thief stole the 100. The amount less than 100 would be the marginal profit. Of course the shop owner would not realize all of this, and would still think he lost 100.

    If the thief or another client would buy these goods anyhow (with or without stealing) before they perished, or the shop owner could return them/refund them, or keep their potential selling value high by any means, the outcome would be strictly 100.

    food for thought…

  93. Think of it as 2 different actions. Person A steals $100. Person B walks into the store and buys $70 worth of groceries. How much MONEY did the owner lose?

  94. Register value: Grocery stock value:

    $300 Start of day $1200 start of day
    -100 – 70
    _________ __________
    $200 $1130 End of day (stock)
    +70. Paid
    $270 End of day balance (register)

    $300+1200=$1500 start of day balance

    $270+1130= $1400 end of day balance

    Owner lost $100

    ***this is assuming the owner has not upcharged his customers for groceries in which case, good luck staying in business!***

    1. Quite simply the store owner can’t be out more money than what the thief walked away with, which was $70 in food and $30 in cash.

  95. The shop kitty is 500,
    She takes 100
    the kitty is now down to 400
    She buys 70 worth of goods and pays with the 100
    She gets 30 change
    They sell nothing else all day,
    The cash till says you should have 570,
    But you only have 430,
    The shop lost 100 in the theft,And lost 30 with the change =130
    Also lost 70 in goods =200

    1. Hi Grant, your math is wrong.
      The stop kitty is 500
      She takes 100
      the kitty is now down to 400
      she buys 70 goods and pays with 100
      and gets 30 in change.
      at THIS point the kitty is 470 not 430.
      The day ends with no other activity
      and the 570 you expect is 470
      It’s $100 lost by the kitty.
      The goods are NOT additional loss, because money was tendered for them. Stolen or not.

      In fact, it doesn’t matter AT ALL what the pedigree of the money for the purchase is. Just because we know the source of it doesn’t change this one bit.

      $100 was lost. 🙂

  96. The puzzle’s title says, “Math Puzzle : A Lady steals $100 worth of groceries.” She doesn’t. She steals $70 worth of groceries.

  97. Where the thief spends the token money is immaterial, Doesn’t matter. The store is only out what was stolen. $100. It’s not really even a math problem but a logic problem. Thanks

  98. If you wana get technical, the owner lost nothling!!! because at point of sale, he didn’t know that 100 was missing from the till, he’ll never know. He thinks he gained 70.

    He’s gona go away after tallying up at the end of the day, scratching his head, or his ass coz he has no idea 100 was stolen from his till… he thinks he’s made a mistake… OMG how’s he gona tell his wife hahahaha she’s gona think he took it himself… she’s gona think he’s got a mistress… that he took the money, to buy her a ring… like, he never bought his wife a ring… like, he goes out and buys his wife a ring worth 200… now he’s really in the shit hahaha coz now he’s really outa pocket…. WTF hahahahaha

  99. Think about this. You advertise a used cell phone on craigslist. Asking price $100.00. Buyer agrees to buy for $100.00 and meet you in a parking lot (never a good idea). You go to meet buyer and have the phone plus $100 bill in your wallet. You meet buyer and he points a gun at you and says, “give me all your money”. You reach into your wallet and hand him your $100 bill. He then says, “let me see that phone I was going to buy.” You hand it to him and he says, “I’ll take it” and hands you back your $100 bill. Are you even? No, you expected to leave with $200 in your wallet and no cell phone. But in fact you are leaving with $100 and no cell phone (worth another $100). So you are out $200 total.


      If he expects to leave with $200 and no cell phone and instead leaves with $100 and no cell phone….he is leaving with $100 less than he intended on leaving with.

      Expects $200

      Leaves with $100

      How much is gone?


  100. Perfect answer!!! Sums it up!!! With what the question is, and the only information provided, keeping it simple. What was gained by the thief would also be the loss of the owner…
    $100 either way!!!

  101. The theft happen before the store made its first sale of the day. The cash register is $100 short. She used the same $100 bill she stole to buy $70 worth of groceries. Let’s suppose she exchange $100 bill for ten $10 bills at the bank. She gave the cashier $70 and kept $30 in her pocket. That register is $30 short.
    The owner is missing $30.

  102. its $170.00 because the person stole $100.00 that was originally used to purchase something else. then the $70.00 worth of groceries.

  103. If the shop keeper sold the goods to some other customer the goods would not be in the equation. So ignore the sale and consider only the theft of $100. The loss is $100

  104. The cash drawer has to have at least $130 cash in it crime the beginning.
    Thief takes $100 cash.
    The drawer is now $100 short, $30 remains. The register still assumes there is $130 because no sale was entered to adjust the cash drawer. Nor is it aware that the next sale will be done with the stolen money.

    Thief buys $70 of goods. The sale is entered into the register.
    Their hands cashier $100, cashier enters $100 cash tendered on the register, register calculates to return $30 in change. And logs in $70 cash to the drawer.

    Drawer now has $100 in it.

    Before the theft, the register believe there is $130. A sale for $70 was made and $30 given in change.

    $130 + $70 = $200

    If the store closed right then and a report run on the register, it would tell you that tyre should be $200 cash in the drawer.

    When you count the drawer, their is only $100

    The drawer is short $100.

    When a theft occurs in cash, the loss is recorded as the dollar amount in cash.
    When a theft of merchandise occurs, the loss is recorded at retail value. The wholesale price, overhead and profit was already factored in to determine the retail price.

    The owner is out $100 cash plus the value of the $70 in merchandise plus $30 cash.

    However, he doesn’t know of the theft and wouldn’t know which sale is associated with the stolen money. His register and cash drawer balance are all he is aware of. The register considered it a valid sale so the merchandise will not show up as a shortage in inventory.

    Owner lost $100 cash.

  105. Jeepers creepers! The store owner lost $100 for heaven sake! The people whose answers were $200, would have been right except the thief gave back the stolen $100 bill when he paid for his merchandise. So if the guy gave back the stolen $100 bill that he took from the register earlier you cannot consider it a loss. Now when the guy pays for the $70 in merchandise and get $30 change back, now that instead of adding the merchandise the change back in the original $100 bill, you should only add the $70 merchandise and the 30 dollars change. You can’t count the $100 bill originally stolen because that be paid for the merchandise with that same $100 bill.

  106. No one seems to be looking at goods taken in the right way… let’s just do the money quickly… $100 taken, $100 back, $30 change…money is easy, owner is down $30…also down $70 for the merchandise the thief has… that’s $30+$70=$100 …but you have to count the $70 the owner would have made off that stuff had the thief not taken it… think about it as we know the thief stole $100…but the store owner is also down product worth $70 that someone else would have bought ….because the $70 the thief bought was with stolen money… so again, owner lost $100 to the thief and $70 in product…who knows, lol.

  107. His cost of the groceries is not 70. Would be less. He does have to make a profit on everything he sells. Therefore he’s not loosing 100 probably around 80

  108. She stolen $100 then she buys $70 in groceries….is that $170??he loses $70 in GROCERIES $70,,the store owner gave her $30 more….he loses $200 people. Who pays for the groceries. No one????

  109. Can you not do simple math?!?! If there is 500 in the till, thief takes 100 so it is down to 400, she buys 70 worth of goods and pays with the 100 so the till is back at 500, then she gets back 30 in change so it is down to 470 (NOT 430 like you stated). You should have 570. So 570-470 =100 loss. The 70 in goods were in fact paid for, it don’t matter where the money came from so that is NOT a loss. It would the same as the thief paying for the goods with money she had in her other pocket or someone else totally different coming in, buying and paying for goods. The transaction has nothing to do with the loss, it was just added to confuse people like you 🙂

  110. the anwer is as follows accounting 101

    assume store stored with 500 dollars cash

    lady comes in steals 100 dollars
    500-100= 400 cash in register

    lady comes back to buy groceries she collects said groceries pays 100 dollars (stolen bill)

    buys 70 dollars worth of groceries inventory deducted by -70 sales revenue (cash) +70

    she pays with the 100 dollars stolen 400+100= 500
    ( However the actual cash which should be in regsiter is 570 remember she took 100 dollars out the regsiter)

    inventoy is COGS must be caculated and written on the books as a loss
    the COGS is unkown

    570 should be in the register however 470 is
    570-470= 100 dollar difference
    thats how much the owner lost in cash/ revenue
    in total

    100+ COGS = owners overal loss

    1. That is Accounting “-100”, not 101. Sigh. No one ever knows the true pedigree of cash spent at an store–at the end of the day, the store is out the $100 stolen. Whether the $100 used for the subsequent purchase was from the theft or not is irrelevant, as $100 was exchanged for $100 total (goods and change). Do you really think that accountants would change the books of a business because they find out the pedigree of the money, say, a year later? It’s $100 cash loss to the store. Thanks.

  111. its 200 really. cause the owner first losses the 100 from being stolen, also the other 100 from 70 worth of groceries and 30 worth of change. the value of the grocery is still the owners income, because the money use to bought it is still from his ,the owner hasn’t gain any profit in the riddle cause all of the transactions came from him he losses the 70 plus the change also which added his lost of total cash of 130 and the value of an asset of 70 all in all its 200.

  112. What about the man has already paid for the $70.00 in merchandise from his supplier. The 100.00 is paying for something he has already paid for once so I say &170.00.

  113. Okay I say he lost 200 why? Cause it says how much did the owner lose? He lost 100$ to began with then turned around and let someone with the same 100$ bill spend 70$ of that 100$ then he turns around and give 30$ back …… -100 + -70+ -30= -200$

      1. He didn’t loose $70 goods…Were the $&70 in goods stolen? No they were paid for.

        Had they stolen the $100 bill and then stole $70 in goods and stole $30 in cash then the store owner would be out $200

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