2018 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 23

Problem

From a regular octagon, a triangle is formed by connecting three randomly chosen vertices of the octagon. What is the probability that at least one of the sides of the triangle is also a side of the octagon?

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$\textbf{(A) } \frac{2}{7} \qquad \textbf{(B) } \frac{5}{42} \qquad \textbf{(C) } \frac{11}{14} \qquad \textbf{(D) } \frac{5}{7} \qquad \textbf{(E) } \frac{6}{7}$

Solution

Solution 1

We will use constructive counting to solve this. There are $2$ cases: Either all $3$ points are adjacent, or exactly $2$ points are adjacent.

If all $3$ points are adjacent, then we have $8$ choices. If we have exactly $2$ adjacent points, then we will have $8$ places to put the adjacent points and also $4$ places to put the remaining point, so we have $8\cdot4$ choices. The total amount of choices is ${8 \choose 3} = 8\cdot7$. Thus our answer is $\frac{8+8\cdot4}{8\cdot7}= \frac{1+4}{7}=\boxed{\textbf{(D) } \frac 57}$

Solution 2

We can decide $2$ adjacent points with $8$ choices. The remaining point will have $6$ choices. However, we have counted the case with $3$ adjacent points twice, so we need to subtract this case once. The case with the $3$ adjacent points has $8$ arrangements, so our answer is $\frac{8\cdot6-8}{{8 \choose 3 }}$$=\frac{8\cdot6-8}{8 \cdot 7 \cdot 6 \div 6}\Longrightarrow\boxed{\textbf{(D) } \frac 57}$

Solution 3 (Stars and Bars)

Let $1$ point of the triangle be fixed at the top. Then, there are ${7 \choose 2} = 21$ ways to chose the other 2 points. There must be $3$ spaces in the points and $3$ points themselves. This leaves 2 extra points to be placed anywhere. By stars and bars, there are 3 triangle points (n) and $2$ extra points (k-1) distributed so by the stars and bars formula, ${n+k-1 \choose k-1}$, there are ${4 \choose 2} = 6$ ways to arrange the bars and stars. Thus, the probability is $\frac{(21 - 6)}{21} = \frac{5}{7}$.

Video Solution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNflxl7VpL0 - Happytwin

See Also

2018 AMC 8 (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 AJHSME/AMC 8 Problems and Solutions

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