2004 AIME II Problems/Problem 4
How many positive integers less than 10,000 have at most two different digits?
First, let's count numbers with only a single digit. We have nine of these for each length, and four lengths, so 36 total numbers.
Now, let's count those with two distinct digits. We handle the cases "0 included" and "0 not included" separately.
There are ways to choose two digits, and . Given two digits, there are ways to arrange them in an -digit number, for a total of such numbers (or we can list them: ). Thus, we have numbers of this form.
Now, suppose 0 is one of our digits. We have nine choices for the other digit. For each choice, we have -digit numbers we can form, for a total of such numbers (or we can list them: ). This gives us numbers of this form.
Thus, in total, we have such numbers.
We use casework on the number of digits for this problem.
If the number has a single digit, namely the number we can clearly all such work.
If the number has two digits, or the number we can clearly see all such work.
If the number has three digits, there are a total of three digit numbers, and there are numbers that have all distinct digits so there are total three digit numbers that work.
If the number has four digits, then we have a total of so in total we get numbers that work.
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