Combinatorics Challenge Problems

Problem 1

How many distinguishable towers consisting of $8$ blocks can be built with $2$ red blocks, $4$ pink blocks, and $2$ yellow blocks?

Answer: $(420)$

Problem 2

How many ways are there to seat $6$ people around the circle if $3$ of them insist on staying together?(All people are distinct)

Answer: $(36)$


Problem 3

When $6$ fair $6$ sided dice are rolled, what is the probability that the sum of the numbers facing up top is $10$?

Answer: ($\frac{7}{2592}$)


Problem 4

How many different ways are there to buy $8$ fruits when the choices are apples, pears, and oranges?

Answer: $(45)$


Problem 5

Ms.Carr asks her students to read any 5 of the 10 books on a reading list. Harold randomly selects 5 books from this list, and Betty does the same. What is the probability that there are exactly 2 books that they both select? (Source: AMC 10B 2020).

Answer: $(\frac{25}{63})$


Problem 6*

$3$ points are chosen on the circumference of a circle to form a triangle. What is the probability that the circle does not contain the center of the circle?

Answer: $(\frac{3}{4})$


Problem 7

A fair coin is tossed $10$ times, each toss resulting in heads or tails. What is the probability that after all $10$ tosses, that there were atleast $6$ heads?

Answer: $(\frac{385}{1024})$


Problem 8

A frog sitting at the point $(1, 2)$ begins a sequence of jumps, where each jump is parallel to one of the coordinate axes and has length $1$, and the direction of each jump (up, down, right, or left) is chosen independently at random. The sequence ends when the frog reaches a side of the square with vertices $(0,0), (0,4), (4,4),$ and $(4,0)$. What is the probability that the sequence of jumps ends on a vertical side of the square$?$ (Source: AMC 12A 2020).

Answer: $(\frac{5}{8})$


Problem 9

There are 10 people standing equally spaced around a circle. Each person knows exactly 3 of the other 9 people: the 2 people standing next to her or him, as well as the person directly across the circle. How many ways are there for the 10 people to split up into 5 pairs so that the members of each pair know each other? (Source: AMC 12B 2020).

Answer: $(13)$


Problem 10**

A bug travels from $A$ to $B$ along the segments in the hexagonal lattice pictured below. The segments marked with an arrow can be traveled only in the direction of the arrow, and the bug never travels the same segment more than once. How many different paths are there? (AMC 12B 2012).

[asy] size(10cm); draw((0.0,0.0)--(1.0,1.7320508075688772)--(3.0,1.7320508075688772)--(4.0,3.4641016151377544)--(6.0,3.4641016151377544)--(7.0,5.196152422706632)--(9.0,5.196152422706632)--(10.0,6.928203230275509)--(12.0,6.928203230275509)); draw((0.0,0.0)--(1.0,1.7320508075688772)--(3.0,1.7320508075688772)--(4.0,3.4641016151377544)--(6.0,3.4641016151377544)--(7.0,5.196152422706632)--(9.0,5.196152422706632)--(10.0,6.928203230275509)--(12.0,6.928203230275509)); draw((3.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(4.0,0.0)--(6.0,0.0)--(7.0,1.7320508075688772)--(9.0,1.7320508075688772)--(10.0,3.4641016151377544)--(12.0,3.464101615137755)--(13.0,5.196152422706632)--(15.0,5.196152422706632)); draw((6.0,-3.4641016151377544)--(7.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(9.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(10.0,0.0)--(12.0,0.0)--(13.0,1.7320508075688772)--(15.0,1.7320508075688776)--(16.0,3.464101615137755)--(18.0,3.4641016151377544)); draw((9.0,-5.196152422706632)--(10.0,-3.464101615137755)--(12.0,-3.464101615137755)--(13.0,-1.7320508075688776)--(15.0,-1.7320508075688776)--(16.0,0)--(18.0,0.0)--(19.0,1.7320508075688772)--(21.0,1.7320508075688767)); draw((12.0,-6.928203230275509)--(13.0,-5.196152422706632)--(15.0,-5.196152422706632)--(16.0,-3.464101615137755)--(18.0,-3.4641016151377544)--(19.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(21.0,-1.7320508075688767)--(22.0,0)); draw((0.0,-0.0)--(1.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(3.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(4.0,-3.4641016151377544)--(6.0,-3.4641016151377544)--(7.0,-5.196152422706632)--(9.0,-5.196152422706632)--(10.0,-6.928203230275509)--(12.0,-6.928203230275509)); draw((3.0,1.7320508075688772)--(4.0,-0.0)--(6.0,-0.0)--(7.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(9.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(10.0,-3.4641016151377544)--(12.0,-3.464101615137755)--(13.0,-5.196152422706632)--(15.0,-5.196152422706632)); draw((6.0,3.4641016151377544)--(7.0,1.7320508075688772)--(9.0,1.7320508075688772)--(10.0,-0.0)--(12.0,-0.0)--(13.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(15.0,-1.7320508075688776)--(16.0,-3.464101615137755)--(18.0,-3.4641016151377544)); draw((9.0,5.1961524)--(10.0,3.464101)--(12.0,3.46410)--(13.0,1.73205)--(15.0,1.732050)--(16.0,0)--(18.0,-0.0)--(19.0,-1.7320)--(21.0,-1.73205080)); draw((12.0,6.928203)--(13.0,5.1961524)--(15.0,5.1961524)--(16.0,3.464101615)--(18.0,3.4641016)--(19.0,1.7320508)--(21.0,1.732050)--(22.0,0)); dot((0,0)); dot((22,0)); label("$A$",(0,0),WNW); label("$B$",(22,0),E); filldraw((2.0,1.7320508075688772)--(1.6,1.2320508075688772)--(1.75,1.7320508075688772)--(1.6,2.232050807568877)--cycle,black); filldraw((5.0,3.4641016151377544)--(4.6,2.9641016151377544)--(4.75,3.4641016151377544)--(4.6,3.9641016151377544)--cycle,black); filldraw((8.0,5.196152422706632)--(7.6,4.696152422706632)--(7.75,5.196152422706632)--(7.6,5.696152422706632)--cycle,black); filldraw((11.0,6.928203230275509)--(10.6,6.428203230275509)--(10.75,6.928203230275509)--(10.6,7.428203230275509)--cycle,black); filldraw((4.6,0.0)--(5.0,-0.5)--(4.85,0.0)--(5.0,0.5)--cycle,white); filldraw((8.0,1.732050)--(7.6,1.2320)--(7.75,1.73205)--(7.6,2.2320)--cycle,black); filldraw((11.0,3.4641016)--(10.6,2.9641016)--(10.75,3.46410161)--(10.6,3.964101)--cycle,black); filldraw((14.0,5.196152422706632)--(13.6,4.696152422706632)--(13.75,5.196152422706632)--(13.6,5.696152422706632)--cycle,black); filldraw((8.0,-1.732050)--(7.6,-2.232050)--(7.75,-1.7320508)--(7.6,-1.2320)--cycle,black); filldraw((10.6,0.0)--(11,-0.5)--(10.85,0.0)--(11,0.5)--cycle,white); filldraw((14.0,1.7320508075688772)--(13.6,1.2320508075688772)--(13.75,1.7320508075688772)--(13.6,2.232050807568877)--cycle,black); filldraw((17.0,3.464101615137755)--(16.6,2.964101615137755)--(16.75,3.464101615137755)--(16.6,3.964101615137755)--cycle,black); filldraw((11.0,-3.464101615137755)--(10.6,-3.964101615137755)--(10.75,-3.464101615137755)--(10.6,-2.964101615137755)--cycle,black); filldraw((14.0,-1.7320508075688776)--(13.6,-2.2320508075688776)--(13.75,-1.7320508075688776)--(13.6,-1.2320508075688776)--cycle,black); filldraw((16.6,0)--(17,-0.5)--(16.85,0)--(17,0.5)--cycle,white); filldraw((20.0,1.7320508075688772)--(19.6,1.2320508075688772)--(19.75,1.7320508075688772)--(19.6,2.232050807568877)--cycle,black); filldraw((14.0,-5.196152422706632)--(13.6,-5.696152422706632)--(13.75,-5.196152422706632)--(13.6,-4.696152422706632)--cycle,black); filldraw((17.0,-3.464101615137755)--(16.6,-3.964101615137755)--(16.75,-3.464101615137755)--(16.6,-2.964101615137755)--cycle,black); filldraw((20.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(19.6,-2.232050807568877)--(19.75,-1.7320508075688772)--(19.6,-1.2320508075688772)--cycle,black); filldraw((2.0,-1.7320508075688772)--(1.6,-1.2320508075688772)--(1.75,-1.7320508075688772)--(1.6,-2.232050807568877)--cycle,black); filldraw((5.0,-3.4641016)--(4.6,-2.964101)--(4.75,-3.4641)--(4.6,-3.9641016)--cycle,black); filldraw((8.0,-5.1961524)--(7.6,-4.6961524)--(7.75,-5.19615242)--(7.6,-5.696152422)--cycle,black); filldraw((11.0,-6.9282032)--(10.6,-6.4282032)--(10.75,-6.928203)--(10.6,-7.428203)--cycle,black);[/asy]

Answer: $(2400)$


Problem 11*

Jason rolls three fair standard six-sided dice. Then he looks at the rolls and chooses a subset of the dice (possibly empty, possibly all three dice) to reroll. After rerolling, he wins if and only if the sum of the numbers face up on the three dice is exactly $7.$ Jason always plays to optimize his chances of winning. What is the probability that he chooses to reroll exactly two of the dice? (Source: AMC 12A 2020).

Answer: $(\frac{7}{36})$

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