As the problem says the apprentice mixed up the hands so that the minute hand was short and the hour hand was long.
The first time the apprentice returned to the client was about 2 hours and 10 minutes after he had set the clock at six.The long had moved olny from twelve to a little past two. The little made two whole circles and an additional 10 minutes. Thus the clock showed the correct time.
The next day around 7:o5 a.m.he came a second time,13 hours and 15 minutes after he had set the clock for six. The long had, acting as the hour hand,covered 13 hours to reach 1. The short hand made 13 full circles and 5 minutes, reaching 7, So the clock showed the correct time again.
The numbers can be grouped by pairs:
999,999,999 and 0;
999,999,998 and 1'
999,999,997 and 2;
and so on....
There are half a billion pairs, and the sum of the digits in each pair is 81. The digits in the unpaired number, 1,000,000,000, add to 1. Then:
(500,000,000 X 81) + 1= 40,500,000,001.