How to make a 20% discount disappear.
Once upon a time there was a college basketball arena called Folly Forum. Folly Forum was old and needed to be fixed. The Athletic Department decided to raise the donation levels for the season tickets to pay for the repairs. Folly Forum has 12,000 seats with 2000 going to students and the rest to season ticket holders. The AD created two levels of donations. Initially, they decided the premium area would have a donation level of $5000 and the regular level would be $1000. Of the 10,000 seats available, 1000 were premium. Of the 2000 seats for students, 1000 were equivalent to the premium level seats.
When the donation levels were announced, the ticket holders said "Those levels are too high. We can't afford that with the bad economy." The AD responded "No problem. We will give everyone a 20% discount." In addition, the AD said, "We have made more premium seats available."
Let's see what happened. Initially, there were 1000 seats at $5000 and 9000 at $1000. That gives you a total of $14,000,000.
Now let's see what happens when 1000 premium student seats are exchanged for 1000 regular level seats. We now have 2000 seats at $4000 and 8000 seats at $800. And the total is:
There you go folks, the 20% discount has vanished. You are encouraged to redo the math.
Of course, this is all purely make believe and nothing like this can happen in the real world.
While this is rather simplistic, it is an example of the smoke and mirrors that the AD is using to hide its incompetence.