1986 AJHSME Problems/Problem 16

Problem

A bar graph shows the number of hamburgers sold by a fast food chain each season. However, the bar indicating the number sold during the winter is covered by a smudge. If exactly $25\%$ of the chain's hamburgers are sold in the fall, how many million hamburgers are sold in the winter?

$[asy] size(250); void bargraph(real X, real Y, real ymin, real ymax, real ystep, real tickwidth, string yformat, Label LX, Label LY, Label[] LLX, real[] height,pen p=nullpen) { draw((0,0)--(0,Y),EndArrow); draw((0,0)--(X,0),EndArrow); label(LX,(X,0),plain.SE,fontsize(9)); label(LY,(0,Y),plain.NW,fontsize(9)); real yscale=Y/(ymax+ystep); for(real y=ymin; y

$\text{(A)}\ 2.5 \qquad \text{(B)}\ 3 \qquad \text{(C)}\ 3.5 \qquad \text{(D)}\ 4 \qquad \text{(E)}\ 4.5$

Solution

What we want to find is the number of hamburgers sold in the winter. Since we don't know what it is, let's call it $x$. From the graph, we know that in Spring, 4.5 million hamburgers were sold, in the Summer was 5 million and in the Fall was 4 million. We know that the number of hamburgers sold in Fall is exactly $\frac{1}{4}$ of the total number of hamburgers sold, so we can say that...

$4 \times Fall = Spring + Winter + Fall + Summer$

$4 \times 4 = 4.5 + 4 + x + 5$

$16 = x + 13.5$

$2.5 = x$

The answer is 2.5, or A