## Death Cult

A thousand people stand in a circle in order from 1 to 1000. Number 1 has a sword. He kills the next person (Number 2) and gives the sword to the next living person (Number 3). All people keep doing the same until only one person remains. Which number survives?

**SOLUTION**

First, we note that if the number of people is a power of 2, then the first person will survive every round. The greatest power of 2 that is less than 1000 is 512. Therefore, after 488 people die, there will be 512 remaining and the first one to kill the 489-th person will survive. This person has number 1+2×488=977.