1600 people

Question:

There are 1600 people sitting around a circular table. The first person (person 1) has a sword and kills the second person then hands it to the next alive person (in this case person 3). Person 3 stabs person 4 and gives the sword to person 5. This goes on until person 1499 kills person 1500. Then person 1 kills person 3 and so on. This is repeated until there is only a single person remaining.

Who remains in the end?

.

.

C

A

P

T

A

I

N

I

N

T

E

R

V

I

E

W

.

.

Solution: Person 1153.

If you have any number of people equal to a power of 2 (2, 4, 8, etc.) then the first person will be the last remaining. The closest power of 2 to 1600 is 1024 (210). So the first person to go to the 1600 when there is 1024 people left will be the last person remaining. 1600 – 1024 = 576. 576 * 2 = 1152. Person 1152 will be the 576th person killed and person 1153 will be the first person to go of the remaining 1024 people.

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