1996 AJHSME Problems/Problem 21


How many subsets containing three different numbers can be selected from the set \[\{ 89,95,99,132, 166,173 \}\] so that the sum of the three numbers is even?

$\text{(A)}\ 6 \qquad \text{(B)}\ 8 \qquad \text{(C)}\ 10 \qquad \text{(D)}\ 12 \qquad \text{(E)}\ 24$


To have an even sum with three numbers, we must add either $E+O+O$, or $E + E + E$, where $O$ represents an odd number, and $E$ represents an even number.

Since there are not three even numbers in the given set, $E+E+E$ is impossible. Thus, we must choose two odd numbers, and one even number.

There are $2$ choices for the even number.

There are $4$ choices for the first odd number. There are $3$ choices for the last odd number. But the order in which we pick these 2 numbers doesn't matter, so this overcounts the pairs of odd numbers by a factor of $2$. Thus, we have $\frac{4\cdot 3}{2} = 6$ choices for a pair of odd numbers.

In total, there are $2$ choices for an even number, and $6$ choices for the odd numbers, giving a total of $2\cdot 6 = 12$ possible choices for a 3-element set that has an even sum. This is option $\boxed{D}$.

See Also

1996 AJHSME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 20
Followed by
Problem 22
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AJHSME/AMC 8 Problems and Solutions

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