2016 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 8

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Problem

What is the tens digit of $2015^{2016}-2017?$

$\textbf{(A)}\ 0 \qquad \textbf{(B)}\ 1 \qquad \textbf{(C)}\ 3 \qquad \textbf{(D)}\ 5 \qquad \textbf{(E)}\ 8$

Solution 1

Notice that, for $n\ge 2$, $2015^n\equiv 15^n$ is congruent to $25\pmod{100}$ when $n$ is even and $75\pmod{100}$ when $n$ is odd. (Check for yourself). Since $2016$ is even, $2015^{2016} \equiv 25\pmod{100}$ and $2015^{2016}-2017 \equiv 25 - 17 \equiv \underline{0}8\pmod{100}$.

So the answer is $\textbf{(A)}\ \boxed{0}$.

Solution 2

In a very similar fashion, we find that $2015^{2016} \equiv 15^{2016} \pmod{100}$, which equals $225^{1008}$. Next, since every power (greater than $0$) of every number ending in $25$ will end in $25$ (which can easily be verified), we get $225^{1008} \equiv 25 \pmod{100}$. (In this way, we don't have to worry about the exponent very much.) Finally, $2017 \equiv 17 \pmod{100}$, and thus $2015^{2016}-2017 \equiv 25-17 \equiv 08 \pmod{100}$, as above.

~savannahsolver

~ pi_is_3.14