2010 AIME II Problems/Problem 13


The $52$ cards in a deck are numbered $1, 2, \cdots, 52$. Alex, Blair, Corey, and Dylan each picks a card from the deck without replacement and with each card being equally likely to be picked, The two persons with lower numbered cards form a team, and the two persons with higher numbered cards form another team. Let $p(a)$ be the probability that Alex and Dylan are on the same team, given that Alex picks one of the cards $a$ and $a+9$, and Dylan picks the other of these two cards. The minimum value of $p(a)$ for which $p(a)\ge\frac{1}{2}$ can be written as $\frac{m}{n}$. where $m$ and $n$ are relatively prime positive integers. Find $m+n$.


Once the two cards are drawn, there are $\dbinom{50}{2} = 1225$ ways for the other two people to draw. Alex and Dylan are the team with higher numbers if Blair and Corey both draw below $a$, which occurs in $\dbinom{a-1}{2}$ ways. Alex and Dylan are the team with lower numbers if Blair and Corey both draw above $a+9$, which occurs in $\dbinom{43-a}{2}$ ways. Thus, \[p(a)=\frac{\dbinom{43-a}{2}+\dbinom{a-1}{2}}{1225}.\] Simplifying, we get $p(a)=\frac{(43-a)(42-a)+(a-1)(a-2)}{2\cdot1225}$, so we need $(43-a)(42-a)+(a-1)(a-2)\ge (1225)$. If $a=22+b$, then \begin{align*}(43-a)(42-a)+(a-1)(a-2)&=(21-b)(20-b)+(21+b)(20+b)=2b^2+2(21)(20)\ge (1225) \\ b^2\ge \frac{385}{2} &= 192.5 >13^2 \end{align*} So $b> 13$ or $b< -13$, and $a=22+b<9$ or $a>35$, so $a=8$ or $a=36$. Thus, $p(8) = \frac{616}{1225} = \frac{88}{175}$, and the answer is $88+175 = \boxed{263}$.

See also

2010 AIME II (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 12
Followed by
Problem 14
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All AIME Problems and Solutions

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