# How Many Coconuts

Contributed by Kenneth Belcourt

Four men and a monkey are stranded on a desert island. They decide to gather coconuts and the next day, they will evenly split the total amoung themselves. The four men work hard all day and by nightfall, they combine the fruits of their labor into a large pile. The men are exhausted after the long day of work and go to bed agreeing to evenly divide the pile of coconuts amoungst themselves the next day.

One by one, each man awakens during the night and divides the pile of coconuts into four equal piles with exactly one coconut left over. The man takes one pile for himself and hides them. He gives the one leftover coconut to the monkey. He combines the remaining coconuts into a pile.

Each man in turn divides the pile into four equal piles and each time there is one coconut leftover which is given to the monkey.

The next day, the four men gather to divide the remaining pile of coconuts into four equal piles and again there is one coconut leftover which is given to the monkey.

What is the minimum number of original coconuts?

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