Nick brought a million dollars. Added to the fortune, it made $100,000,000. Then following the terms of the will, Tom received $50,000,000; Betty received $25,000,000; Sam got $20,000,000; and Collette got $4,000,000—totaling $99,000,000 in all. Neighbor Nick then reclaimed his $1,000,000 and went home with it just as the poem said.

This problem is one of a class of problems where a whole is the sum of parts expressed as fractions with 1 as the numerator. In this case, the whole is expressed as ^{1}/_{2} + ^{1}/_{4} + ^{1}/_{5} + ^{1}/_{25} + ^{1}/_{100}. The first four terms sum to ^{99}/_{100} and represent the portions in the will. The last term represents the portion that neigbor Nick contributed to make everything come out right.