… as told by me, last week, to my students.
An innumerate executor of a will has to divide an estate of 12,345 pounds between 11 heirs. He calls a meeting and tells the heirs: “The estate is about 12 grands, so I wrote to each of you a cheque for 1,000 pounds.”
The heirs answer: “Wait a second. There is more money left” — and write on the flip chart in the meeting room:
“Ok” — sais the executor – “there are about 13 hundred left. So I can write to each of you a check of 100 pounds”:
“But there is still money left in the pot” — shout the heirs and write:
“Well,”– says the executor, — “it looks as if I can give extra 20 pounds to each of you”:
“More! More!” — the heirs shout. “I see” — said the executor — “here are 2 pounds more for each of you”:
“I deserve to get this remainder of 3 pounds and buy myself a pint. And each of you gets 1122 pounds”:
After finishing my tale on this optimistic note, I commented that the whole calculation, which looks like that:
is usually written down in an abbreviated form:
And we say that
12345 gives upon division by 11 the quotient 1122 and the remainder 3
As simple as that.