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Probability Problem | Combinatorics | AIME I, 2015 – Question 5

Try this beautiful problem from the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, AIME, 2015 based on Probability. You may use sequential hints.

Try this beautiful problem from the American Invitational Mathematics Examination I, AIME I, 2015 based on Probability.

Probability Problem – AIME I, 2015

In a drawer Sandy has 5 pairs of socks, each pair a different color. on monday sandy selects two individual socks at random from the 10 socks in the drawer. On tuesday Sandy selects 2 of the remaining 8 socks at random and on wednesday two of the remaining 6 socks at random. The probability that wednesday is the first day Sandy selects matching socks is \(\frac{m}{n}\), where m and n are relatively prime positive integers, find m+n.

  • is 107
  • is 341
  • is 840
  • cannot be determined from the given information

Key Concepts


Theory of Equations


Check the Answer

Answer: is 341.

AIME, 2015, Question 5

Geometry Revisited by Coxeter

Try with Hints

Wednesday case – with restriction , select the pair on wednesday in \(5 \choose 1 \) ways

Tuesday case – four pair of socks out of which a pair on tuesday where a pair is not allowed where 4 pairs are left,the number of ways in which this can be done is \(8 \choose 2\) – 4

Monday case – a total of 6 socks and a pair not picked \(6 \choose 2\) -2

by multiplication and principle of combinatorics \(\frac{(5)({5\choose 2} -4)({6 \choose 2}-2)}{{10 \choose 2}{8 \choose 2}{6 \choose 2}}\)=\(\frac{26}{315}\). That is 341.

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