2022 AIME I Problems/Problem 9


Ellina has twelve blocks, two each of red ($\textbf{R}$), blue ($\textbf{B}$), yellow ($\textbf{Y}$), green ($\textbf{G}$), orange ($\textbf{O}$), and purple ($\textbf{P}$). Call an arrangement of blocks $\textit{even}$ if there is an even number of blocks between each pair of blocks of the same color. For example, the arrangement \[\textbf{R B B Y G G Y R O P P O}\] is even. Ellina arranges her blocks in a row in random order. The probability that her arrangement is even is $\frac{m}{n},$ where $m$ and $n$ are relatively prime positive integers. Find $m+n.$

Solution 1

Consider this position chart: \[\textbf{1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12}\] Since there has to be an even number of spaces between each pair of the same color, spots $1$, $3$, $5$, $7$, $9$, and $11$ contain some permutation of all 6 colored balls. Likewise, so do the even spots, so the number of even configurations is $6! \cdot 6!$ (after putting every pair of colored balls in opposite parity positions, the configuration can be shown to be even). This is out of $\frac{12!}{(2!)^6}$ possible arrangements, so the probability is: \[\frac{6!\cdot6!}{\frac{12!}{(2!)^6}} = \frac{6!\cdot2^6}{7\cdot8\cdot9\cdot10\cdot11\cdot12} = \frac{2^4}{7\cdot11\cdot3} = \frac{16}{231},\] which is in simplest form. So, $m + n = 16 + 231 = \boxed{247}$.


Solution 2

We can simply use constructive counting. First, let us place the red balls; choose the first slot in $12$ ways, and the second in $6$ ways, because the number is cut in half due to the condition in the problem. This gives $12 \cdot 6$ ways to place the blue balls. Similarly, there are $10 \cdot 5$ ways to place the blue balls, and so on, until there are $2 \cdot 1$ ways to place the purple balls. Thus, the probability is \[\frac{12 \cdot 6 \cdot 10 \cdot 5 \cdot 8 \cdot 4 \cdot 6 \cdot 3 \cdot 4 \cdot 2 \cdot 2 \cdot 1}{12!}=\frac{16}{231},\] and the desired answer extraction is $16+231=\boxed{247}$.


Solution 3

Use constructive counting, as per above. WLOG, place the red blocks first. There are 11 ways to place them with distance 0, 9 ways them to place with distance 2, so on, so the way to place red blocks is $11+9+7+5+3+1=36$. Then place any other block similarly, with $25$ ways (basic counting). You get then $6!^2$ ways to place the blocks evenly, and $12!/64$ ways to place the blocks in any way, so you get $\frac{16}{231}=247$ by simplifying.


Video Solution (Mathematical Dexterity)


Video Solution (Power of Logic)


See Also

2022 AIME I (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 8
Followed by
Problem 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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