1986 AJHSME Problems/Problem 24


The $600$ students at King Middle School are divided into three groups of equal size for lunch. Each group has lunch at a different time. A computer randomly assigns each student to one of three lunch groups. The probability that three friends, Al, Bob, and Carol, will be assigned to the same lunch group is approximately

$\text{(A)}\ \frac{1}{27} \qquad \text{(B)}\ \frac{1}{9} \qquad \text{(C)}\ \frac{1}{8} \qquad \text{(D)}\ \frac{1}{6} \qquad \text{(E)}\ \frac{1}{3}$

Solution 1

There are $\binom{3}{1}$ ways to choose which group the three kids are in and the chance that all three are in the same group is $\frac{1}{27}$. Hence $\frac{1}{9}$ or $\boxed {B}$.

Solution 2

One of the statements, that there are $600$ students in the school is redundant. Taking that there are $3$ students and there are $3$ groups, we can easily deduce there are $81$ ways to group the $3$ students, and there are $3$ ways to group them in the same $1$ group, so we might think $\frac{3}{54}=\frac{1}{27}$ is the answer but as there are 3 groups we do $\frac{1}{27} (3)=\frac{1}{9}$ which is $\boxed{\text{(B)}}$.

See Also

1986 AJHSME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 23
Followed by
Problem 25
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All AJHSME/AMC 8 Problems and Solutions

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