The mood was sombre in the lawyer’s office. Eight members of the Picodie family gathered together to hear the reading of their recently deceased father’s will. Around the table sat Eli, Ron, Agnes, Tim, Toni, Eric and Levi, while their oldest sister Julia prowled around the room, peering out of the windows at the streets below. The door opened and in stepped Sam, the family’s lawyer. All heads turned towards him in silence and he gave the group a small, respectful nod as he took a seat at the table between Tim and Toni.
Sam’s tone was solemn as he spoke. “I am so sorry that this day has come,” he said. “As you all know, Albert and I were great friends for a great many years. Today’s task is an unpleasant, but necessary, one. If you’ll permit me, I shall now read the terms of your father’s will…”
After several clauses concerning small donations to various charities and causes, the lawyer reached the part of most interest to the family members there assembled…
To Agnes, I bequeath 12,000 pounds.
To Eli, I bequeath 201,000 pounds.
To Eric, I bequeath 95,000 pounds.
To Levi, I bequeath 101,000 pounds.
To Ron, I bequeath 69,000 pounds.
To Tim, I bequeath 51,000 pounds.
To Toni, I bequeath 94,000 pounds.
At this point, Sam paused in his reading and an awkward silence fell. All eyes looked towards Julia, still standing, who asked pointedly, “And how much did father leave to me?”
The lawyer’s look was apologetic. “I’m really very sorry, Julia – but your father has left you... nothing.”
Julia swallowed hard. “Nothing? Nothing at all?! No money, no property, no possessions? Nothing?!”
Her brothers and sisters averted their gazes in awkwardness, looking anywhere but at their obviously fuming older sister.
She continued. “Surely you haven’t read to the end, Sam? There must be more – read on!”
Sam shook his head. “I’m afraid that the only other gift in your father’s will… is to me.”
Julia snatched the paper out of the lawyer’s hands and read furiously for a moment, before with a roar she cast it into the air and slammed the door shut on her way out.
QUESTIONS: Why was Julia left out of her father’s will? How much money was bequeathed to the lawyer, Sam? Both answers are related to the precise amounts bequeathed to the other family members, which should also be explained.