From New Scientist #2322, 22nd December 2001
Each year there are eight presents in the sack, their values whole numbers of pounds from 1 to 8, to be distributed to the children Amber, Ben, Christine, and Dick. The presents are drawn from the sack at random, one at a time. Each is given to the child who has already received the lowest total value; if more than one qualify, then to whichever of them whose name comes first in alphabetic order.
Last year, Amber received a final total value of £8, Ben £5, Christine £11, Dick £12.
Q1: What were the values of the first and the seventh presents drawn?
I recorded the values in pounds for the previous five years:
1995: A 6, B 13, C 10, D 7
1996: A 10, B 6, C 14, D 6
1997: A 14, B 10, C 5, D 7
1998: A 9, B 5, C 12, D 10
1999: A 13, B 6, C 5, D 12
Unfortunately I must have made some mistakes because for some of those years the values could not have been achieved.
Q2: Which years were correctly written down?
Thanks to Hugh Casement for providing a transcript for this puzzle.