# What was the solution and how was the group of horses divided?

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An old farmer had 3 sons and 17 horses.

When he died his will was read in the village meeting.

According to the will, the oldest son was to get half of the horses, the middle was to get one third of the horses and the youngest son was to get one ninth of the horses.

None of the villagers were able to divide the horses as the result was coming in fractions.

The sons started fighting on how to divide the horses and did not reach any agreement.

A traveling mathematician rode a horse to the village meeting at this point.

He heard the problem at hand and proposed a solution with which all the sons got their share in the property without harming any animal.

What was the solution and how was the group of horses divided?

posted Mar 13

He takes the LCM of 2, 3 & 9 and finds it to be 18. This means there has to be 18 horses to start dividing the horses between the sons. So he gives his horse to the total temporarily, which he soon intends to get back.
Now (1/2)*18 = 9 horses for eldest son
(1/3)*18 = 6 horses for the middle guy
(1/9)*18 = 2 horses for the youngest. [ 9 + 6 + 2 ] = 17.
And the mathematician gets his horse back.

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An old farmer died and left 17 cows to his three sons. In his will, the farmer stated that his oldest son should get 1/2, his middle son should get 1/3, and his youngest son should get 1/9 of all the cows. The sons, who did not want to end up with half cows, sat for days trying to figure out how many cows each of them should get.

One day, their neighbor came by to see how they were doing after their father's death. The three sons told him their problem. After thinking for a while, the neighbor said: "I'll be right back!" He went away, and when he came back, the three sons could divide the cows according to their father's will, and in such a way, that each of them got a whole number of cows.