Once again, a problem idea comes from West Virginia. While I was waiting in line at a general store, I noticed the store's menu for pizza. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture, but I did write the prices down.
Pepperoni and Cheese is $10.99
Each additional topping is $1.59
Sausage, Onions, Green Peppers, Ham, Mushrooms, Bacon, Banana Peppers, Olives, Sardines.
A pizza with everything is ???
The problem is straightforward for a student. Multiply 1.59 by nine, and add that to 10.99. However, the resulting price is not what the store advertised. Once students found the obvious answer, I plan on showing them that the store is selling an everything pizza for $17.99.
Now the question is, why would they sell an everything pizza for $17.99, when it would make sense to sell it for $25.30?
Why they would charge $1.59 for each topping when their everything price indicates that they can afford to only charge about $0.78 cents for each topping?
I am glad that I found this problem because I'm not sure of the answer, and it would be interesting to see what students came up with with regards to the possible reasons for the stores pricing. I would be interested to find out what they would charge for an everything pizza, and it would be interesting to see how they support their decisions.
This would also be extended to other businesses and how they go about deciding on their prices, and I could see a connection to systems of equations and tall about weighing cost versus revenue.
What do you think about this problem? Have you seen stores price items in perplexing ways?