Difference between revisions of "2017 AMC 10A Problems/Problem 18"

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<math>\textbf{(A)}\ 1\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 2\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 3\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 4\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 5</math>
 
<math>\textbf{(A)}\ 1\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 2\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 3\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 4\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 5</math>
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==See Also==
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{{AMC10 box|year=2017|ab=A|num-b=17|num-a=19}}
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{{MAA Notice}}
  
 
==Solution==
 
==Solution==

Revision as of 19:07, 8 February 2017

Problem

Amelia has a coin that lands heads with probability $\frac{1}{3}$, and Blaine has a coin that lands on heads with probability $\frac{2}{5}$. Amelia and Blaine alternately toss their coins until someone gets a head; the first one to get a head wins. All coin tosses are independent. Amelia goes first. The probability that Amelia wins is $\frac{p}{q}$, where $p$ and $q$ are relatively prime positive integers. What is $q-p$?

$\textbf{(A)}\ 1\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 2\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 3\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 4\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 5$

See Also

2017 AMC 10A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 17
Followed by
Problem 19
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 AMC 10 Problems and Solutions

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Solution

Let $P$ be the probability Amelia wins. Note that $P = \text{chance she wins on her first turn} + \text{chance she gets to her turn again}\cdot P$, as if she gets to her turn again, she is back where she started with probability of winning $P$. The chance she wins on her first turn is $\frac{1}{3}$. The chance she makes it to her turn again is a combination of her failing to win the first turn—$\frac{2}{3}$ and Blaine failing to win—$\frac{3}{5}$. Multiplying gives us $\frac{2}{5}$. Thus, \[P = \frac{1}{3} + \frac{2}{5} \implies P = \frac{5}{9}\] Finally, we do $9-5=\boxed{\textbf{(D)}\ 4}$.

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