The CEO offered an employee a bonus of $10k or to double it and pass it on to the next employee.
The first employee elected to double and pass it on. The CEO thought what a generous individual this was and then moved on to the next employee.
The next employee also declined the (now) $20k bonus and elected to double and pass it on. “Wow,” thought the CEO, “even 20k is being passed on! What a sense of camaraderie on this team.”
The next employee also chose to double and pass on. This continued for 6 more employees and the bonus offer now stood at over $2.5 million. In a panic, the CEO had to call his wealthy father to get a loan, otherwise his business will be bankrupted.
Meanwhile the nine employees were in the kitchen deciding how to evenly split $2.5 million.