2017 AMC 12B Problems/Problem 22
Abby, Bernardo, Carl, and Debra play a game in which each of them starts with four coins. The game consists of four rounds. In each round, four balls are placed in an urn---one green, one red, and two white. The players each draw a ball at random without replacement. Whoever gets the green ball gives one coin to whoever gets the red ball. What is the probability that, at the end of the fourth round, each of the players has four coins?
It amounts to filling in a matrix. Columns are the random draws each round; rows are the coin changes of each player. Also, let be the number of nonzero elements in .
WLOG, let . Parity demands that and must equal or .
Case 1: and . There are ways to place 's in , so there are ways.
Case 2: and . There are ways to place the in , ways to place the remaining in (just don't put it under the on top of it!), and ways for one of the other two players to draw the green ball. (We know it's green because Bernardo drew the red one.) We can just double to cover the case of , for a total of ways.
Case 3: . There are three ways to place the in . Now, there are two cases as to what happens next.
Sub-case 3.1: The in goes directly under the in . There's obviously way for that to happen. Then, there are ways to permute the two pairs of in and . (Either the comes first in or the comes first in .)
Sub-case 3.2: The in doesn't go directly under the in . There are ways to place the , and ways to do the same permutation as in Sub-case 3.1. Hence, there are ways for this case.
There's a grand total of ways for this to happen, along with total cases. The probability we're asking for is thus .
LaTex polished by Grace.yongqing.yu.
Solution 2 (Less Casework)
We will proceed by taking cases based on how many people are taking part in this "transaction." We can have , , or people all giving/receiving coins during the turns. Basically, (like the previous solution), we think of this as filling out a matrix of letters, where a letter on the left column represents this person gave, and a letter on the right column means this person received. We need to make sure that for each person that gave in total certain amount, they received in total from other people that same amount, or in other words, we want it such that there are an equal number of A's, B's, C's, and D's in both columns of the matrix.
For example, the matrix below represents: A gives B a coin, then B gives C a coin, then C gives D a coin, and finally A gives D a coin, in this order. Case 1: people. In this case, we have ways to choose the two people, and ways to order them to get a count of ways.
Case 2: people. In this case, one special person is giving/receiving twice. There are four ways to choose this person, then of the remaining three people we choose two, to be the people interacting with the special person. Thus, we have ways here.
Case 3: people. In this case. First note that no person can give/receive twice. If we keep the order of A, B, C, D giving in that order (and permute afterward), then there are three options to choose A's receiver, and three options for B's receiver afterward. Then it is uniquely determined who C and D give to. This gives a total of ways, after permuting.
So we have a total of ways to order the four pairs of people. Now we divide this by the total number of ways: (four rounds, four ways to choose giver, three to choose receiver each round). So the answer is .
Latex polished by Argonauts16 and by Grace.yongqing.yu.
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