2015 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 18

Problem

Johann has $64$ fair coins. He flips all the coins. Any coin that lands on tails is tossed again. Coins that land on tails on the second toss are tossed a third time. What is the expected number of coins that are now heads?

$\textbf{(A) } 32 \qquad\textbf{(B) } 40 \qquad\textbf{(C) } 48 \qquad\textbf{(D) } 56 \qquad\textbf{(E) } 64$

Solutions

Solution 1

We can simplify the problem first, then move big. Let's say that there are $8$ coins. Shaded coins flip heads, and blank coins flip tails. So, after the first flip;

[asy] filldraw(circle((-5,0),0.35),white); filldraw(circle((-4,0),0.35),white); filldraw(circle((-3,0),0.35),white); filldraw(circle((-2,0),0.35),white); filldraw(circle((-1,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((-0,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((1,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((2,0),0.35),black); [/asy]

Then, after the second (new heads in blue);

[asy] filldraw(circle((-5,0),0.35),white); filldraw(circle((-4,0),0.35),white); filldraw(circle((-3,0),0.35),blue); filldraw(circle((-2,0),0.35),blue); filldraw(circle((-1,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((-0,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((1,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((2,0),0.35),black); [/asy]

And after the third (new head in green);

[asy] filldraw(circle((-5,0),0.35),white); filldraw(circle((-4,0),0.35),green); filldraw(circle((-3,0),0.35),blue); filldraw(circle((-2,0),0.35),blue); filldraw(circle((-1,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((-0,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((1,0),0.35),black); filldraw(circle((2,0),0.35),black); [/asy]

So in total, $7$ of the $8$ coins resulted in heads. Now we have the ratio of $\frac{7}{8}$ of the total coins will end up heads. Therefore, we have $\frac{7}{8}\cdot64=\boxed{\mathbf{(D)}\ 56}$

Solution 2

Every time the coins are flipped, half of them are expected to turn up heads. The expected number of heads on the first flip is $32$, on the second flip is $16$, and on the third flip, it is $8$. Adding these gives $\boxed{\mathbf{(D)}\ 56}$

See Also

2015 AMC 10B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 17
Followed by
Problem 19
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 10 Problems and Solutions

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