# Difference between revisions of "2020 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 19"

## Problem 19

A number is called flippy if its digits alternate between two distinct digits. For example, $2020$ and $37373$ are flippy, but $3883$ and $123123$ are not. How many five-digit flippy numbers are divisible by $15?$ $\textbf{(A) }3 \qquad \textbf{(B) }4 \qquad \textbf{(C) }5 \qquad \textbf{(D) }6 \qquad \textbf{(E) }8$

## Solution 1

A number is divisible by $15$ precisely if it is divisible by $3$ and $5$. The latter means the last digit must be either $5$ or $0$, and the former means the sum of the digits must be divisible by $3$. If the last digit is $0$, the first digit would be $0$ (because the digits alternate), which is not possible. Hence the last digit must be $5$, and the number is of the form $5\square 5\square 5$. If the unknown digit is $x$, we deduce $5+x+5+x+5 \equiv 0 \pmod{3} \Rightarrow 2x \equiv 0 \pmod{3}$. We know $2^{-1}$ exists modulo $3$ because 2 is relatively prime to 3, so we conclude that $x$ (i.e. the second and fourth digit of the number) must be a multiple of $3$. It can be $0$, $3$, $6$, or $9$, so there are $\boxed{\textbf{(B) }4}$ options: $50505$, $53535$, $56565$, and $59595$.

## Solution 2 (variant of Solution 1)

As in Solution 1, we find that such numbers must start with $5$ and alternate with $5$ (i.e. must be of the form $5\square 5\square 5$), where the two digits between the $5$s need to be the same. Call that digit $x$. For the number to be divisible by $3$, the sum of the digits must be divisible by $3$; since the sum of the three $5$s is $15$, which is already a multiple of $3$, it must also be the case that $x+x=2x$ is a multiple of $3$. Thus, the problem reduces to finding the number of digits from $0$ to $9$ for which $2x$ is a multiple of $3$. This leads to $x=0$, $3$, $6$, or $9$, so there are $\boxed{\textbf{(B) }4}$ possible numbers (namely $50505$, $53535$, $56565$, and $59595$).

~savannahsolver

## Video Solution by Interstigation

~Interstigation

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