2000 AMC 12 Problems/Problem 23


Professor Gamble buys a lottery ticket, which requires that he pick six different integers from $1$ through $46$, inclusive. He chooses his numbers so that the sum of the base-ten logarithms of his six numbers is an integer. It so happens that the integers on the winning ticket have the same property— the sum of the base-ten logarithms is an integer. What is the probability that Professor Gamble holds the winning ticket?

$\textbf {(A)}\ 1/5 \qquad \textbf {(B)}\ 1/4 \qquad \textbf {(C)}\ 1/3 \qquad \textbf {(D)}\ 1/2 \qquad \textbf {(E)}\ 1$


The product of the numbers have to be a power of $10$ in order to have an integer base ten logarithm. Thus all of the numbers must be in the form $2^m5^n$. Listing out such numbers from $1$ to $46$, we find $1,2,4,5,8,10,16,20,25,32,40$ are the only such numbers. Immediately it should be noticed that there are a larger number of powers of $2$ than of $5$. Since a number in the form of $10^k$ must have the same number of $2$s and $5$s in its factorization, we require larger powers of $5$ than we do of $2$. To see this, for each number subtract the power of $5$ from the power of $2$. This yields $0,1,2,-1,3,0,4,1,-2,5,2$, and indeed the only non-positive terms are $0,0,-1,-2$. Since there are only two zeros, the largest number that Professor Gamble could have picked would be $2$.

Thus Gamble picks numbers which fit $-2 + -1 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 2$, with the first four having already been determined to be $\{25,5,1,10\}$. The choices for the $1$ include $\{2,20\}$ and the choices for the $2$ include $\{4,40\}$. Together these give four possible tickets, which makes Professor Gamble’s probability $1/4\ \mathrm{(B)}$.

See also

2000 AMC 12 (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 22
Followed by
Problem 24
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 AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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