Try this beautiful Problem on Probability in Marbles based on smallest value AMC 10 A, 2010. You may use sequential hints to solve the problem.

Probability in Marbles – AMC-10A, 2010- Problem 23


Each of 2010 boxes in a line contains a single red marble, and for $1 \leq k \leq 2010$, the box in the $k$ th position also contains $k$ white marbles. Isabella begins at the first box and successively draws a single marble at random from each box, in order. She stops when she first draws a red marble. Let $P(n)$ be the probability that Isabella stops after drawing exactly $n$ marbles. What is the smallest value of $n$ for which $P(n)<\frac{1}{2010}$ ?

,

  • $20$
  • $22$
  • $44$
  • $45$
  • $46$

Key Concepts


Probability

Combination

Marbles

Suggested Book | Source | Answer


Suggested Reading

Pre College Mathematics

Source of the problem

AMC-10A, 2010 Problem-23

Check the answer here, but try the problem first

$45$

Try with Hints


First Hint

Given that Each of 2010 boxes in a line contains a single red marble, and for $1 \leq k \leq 2010$, the box in the $k$ th position also contains $k$ white marbles..

Therefore The probability of drawing a white marble from box $k$ is $\frac{k}{k+1}$ and the probability of drawing a red marble from box $k$ is $\frac{1}{k+1}$

Now can you finish the problem?

Second Hint

Also given that She stops when she first draws a red marble. Let $P(n)$ be the probability that Isabella stops after drawing exactly $n$ marbles.

Therefore we can say $P(n)=\left(\frac{1}{2} \cdot \frac{2}{3} \cdot \frac{3}{4} \cdots \frac{n-1}{n}\right) \cdot \frac{1}{n+1}=\frac{1}{n(n+1)}$

Now Can you finish the Problem?

Third Hint

Therefore the probability $\frac{1}{n(n+1)}<\frac{1}{2010}$ or $n(n+1)>2010$

Now $ n^2+n-2010>0$

Now to find out the factorization we see that $45 \times 46=2070$ and $ 44 \times 45 =1980$

As $n$ is smallest so $n=45$

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