Last visit was: 20 Sep 2024, 10:50 It is currently 20 Sep 2024, 10:50
Toolkit
GMAT Club Daily Prep
Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History
Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

# At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of

SORT BY:
Tags:
Show Tags
Hide Tags
Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 387
Own Kudos [?]: 4199 [810]
Given Kudos: 18
Name: Ronak Amin
Schools: IIM Lucknow (IPMX) - Class of 2014
Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 95690
Own Kudos [?]: 660589 [232]
Given Kudos: 87331
Joined: 05 Nov 2012
Status:GMAT Coach
Posts: 157
Own Kudos [?]: 297 [46]
Given Kudos: 65
Location: Peru
GPA: 3.98
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Posts: 81
Own Kudos [?]: 1034 [42]
Given Kudos: 6
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
28
Kudos
14
Bookmarks
I got B: 5/14 as well, although using a different approach.

Number of ways to choose 4 cups to drink from: 9C4

Since the contestant must drink 4 cups of tea, and there are only 3 cups of each tea, the contestant MUST drink at least two different samples.

Number of ways to choose which two samples the contestant drinks (since he can't drink all 3): 3C2

Three cases:

a) 3 Cups of Sample 1, 1 Cup of Sample 2: 3C3 * 3C1
b) 2 Cups of Sample 1, 2 Cups of Sample 2: 3C2 * 3C2
c) 1 Cup of Sample 1, 3 Cups of Sample 3: 3C1 * 3C3

Therefore,

$$P = \frac{3C2(3C3*3C1 + 3C2*3C2 + 3C1*3C3)}{9C4}$$

$$P = \frac{3(1*3 + 3*3 + 3*1)}{\frac{9*8*7*6}{4*3*2*1}}$$

$$P = \frac{45}{{9*2*7}}$$

$$P = \frac{5}{14}$$
Joined: 08 Feb 2016
Posts: 31
Own Kudos [?]: 174 [26]
Given Kudos: 14
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
14
Kudos
12
Bookmarks
The probability of tasting all 3 cups is

One cup from pool A ($$\frac{3}{9}$$) x One cup from pool B ($$\frac{3}{8}$$) x One cup from pool C ($$\frac{3}{7}$$)

Since the contestant has to taste 4 cups, one possibility is picking second cup from pool A, so the probability is $$\frac{2}{6}$$

The probability of tasting in order of ABCA is $$\frac{3}{9} * \frac{3}{8} * \frac{3}{7} * \frac{2}{6}$$ ..... (1)

In how many ways can the contestant taste ABCA cups = $$\frac{4!}{2!}$$ = 4 x 3 ....... (2)

The combinations ABCB & ABCC are also possible (along with ABCA) = 3 combinations ..... (3)

Since the choice of "a specific cup" from "a pool" doesn't matter here, we need NOT account for $$A_1A_2A_3, A_1A_3A_2,$$ ... etc. combinations

So Probability of tasting all three cups is = (1) * (2) * (3)

= $$\frac{3}{9} * \frac{3}{8} * \frac{3}{7} * \frac{2}{6} * 4 *3 *3$$

=$$\frac{9}{14}$$

Hence, Probability of NOT tasting all three cups = $$1- \frac{9}{14} = \frac{5}{14}$$
General Discussion
Joined: 25 Jun 2010
Posts: 57
Own Kudos [?]: 139 [8]
Given Kudos: 0
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
6
Kudos
2
Bookmarks
It should be 1-(3*3C2*3C1*3C1/9C4)
= 1-9/14 = 5/14

Now why is your approach wrong ?
E.g: in how many ways 2 objects can be selected from a set of 3.
We know it is 3C2
As per the approach you took above it should be equal to; 3C1*2C1 != 3C2.

Hope it helps.
Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Affiliations: SPG
Posts: 232
Own Kudos [?]: 3242 [0]
Given Kudos: 34
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]

i solved the question as follows. i hope my approach is correct.

let's consider that the contestant tasted all 3 flavors.
the first cup can be selected from any 9 cups. P = $$\frac{9}{9}$$
the second cup can be selected from 6 (other 2 flavors) of the remaining 8 cups. P = $$\frac{6}{8}$$
the third cup can be selected from 3 (flavor not tested yet) of the remaining 7 cups. P = $$\frac{3}{7}$$
the fourth cup can be selected from any of the remaining 6 cups. P = $$\frac{6}{6}$$

there are $$2$$ ways in which second & third cup can be tested {AB, BA}. first & fourth cup already have probability 1.

probability that the contestant tasted all flavors = $$\frac{9}{9}*\frac{6}{8}*\frac{3}{7}*\frac{6}{6}*2 = \frac{9}{14}$$

required probability = $$1 - \frac{9}{14} = \frac{5}{14}$$

 ! This solution is not correct. Check here as to why.
Joined: 05 Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Own Kudos [?]: [0]
Given Kudos: 4
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
Not sure if my channel of thought is flawed to start with, but when it is said that it's a 'blind' taste competition, I am considering repetitions. As the contestant does not know which of the 9 cups he/she had picked up the first time, the same can possibly be repeated in the second turn and so on until the fourth.
That gives a complete different perspective to the problem.
Where am I going wrong here?
Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 95690
Own Kudos [?]: 660589 [3]
Given Kudos: 87331
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
3
Kudos
tosattam
Not sure if my channel of thought is flawed to start with, but when it is said that it's a 'blind' taste competition, I am considering repetitions. As the contestant does not know which of the 9 cups he/she had picked up the first time, the same can possibly be repeated in the second turn and so on until the fourth.
That gives a complete different perspective to the problem.
Where am I going wrong here?

A blind taste simply means that a contestant doesn't know which samples he/she is offered to taste.
Joined: 12 Jan 2018
Posts: 40
Own Kudos [?]: 48 [6]
Given Kudos: 36
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Marketing
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V32
WE:Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
5
Kudos
1
Bookmarks
To choose 2 types of sample out of 3, we get 3c2
We then have 6 cups and to choose 4 cups out of that we get 6c4.
Hence, 3c2 * 6c4
The total ways of selecting 4 cups out of the total 9 is 9c4.
Final ans is (3c2 * 6c4) / 9c4

Posted from my mobile device

Posted from my mobile device
Tutor
Joined: 04 Aug 2010
Posts: 1333
Own Kudos [?]: 3312 [10]
Given Kudos: 9
Schools:Dartmouth College
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
5
Kudos
5
Bookmarks
Economist
At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of the 3 samples of tea in a random arrangement of 9 marked cups. If each contestant tastes 4 different cups of tea, what is the probability that a contestant does not taste all of the samples?

A. $$\frac{1}{12}$$

B. $$\frac{5}{14}$$

C. $$\frac{4}{9}$$

D. $$\frac{1}{2}$$

E. $$\frac{2}{3}$$

P(good outcome) = 1 - P(bad outcome)

A bad outcome occurs when all 3 flavors are sampled.
For all 3 flavors to be sampled, 1 of the 3 flavors must be chosen TWICE.
Number of options for the twice-chosen flavor = 3. (Any of the 3 flavors.)
From 3 cups of the twice-chosen flavor, the number of ways to choose 2 cups = 3C2 = (3*2)/(2*1) = 3.
From 3 cups of the next flavor, the number of ways to choose 1 cup = 3.
From 3 cups of the last flavor, the number of ways to choose 1 cup = 3.
To combine these options, we multiply:
3*3*3*3

All possible outcomes:
From 9 cups, the number of ways to choose 4 = 9C4 = $$\frac{9*8*7*6}{4*3*2*1} = 9*2*7$$

Thus:
P(bad outcome) = $$\frac{bad-outcomes}{all-possible-outcomes} = \frac{3*3*3*3}{9*2*7} = \frac{9}{14}$$
P(good outcome) = $$1 - \frac{9}{14} = \frac{5}{14}$$

Joined: 28 Jan 2017
Posts: 361
Own Kudos [?]: 82 [0]
Given Kudos: 832
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
Dear IanStewart
dimitri92

i solved the question as follows. i hope my approach is correct.

let's consider that the contestant tasted all 3 flavors.
the first cup can be selected from any 9 cups. P = $$\frac{9}{9}$$
the second cup can be selected from 6 (other 2 flavors) of the remaining 8 cups. P = $$\frac{6}{8}$$
the third cup can be selected from 3 (flavor not tested yet) of the remaining 7 cups. P = $$\frac{3}{7}$$
the fourth cup can be selected from any of the remaining 6 cups. P = $$\frac{6}{6}$$

there are $$2$$ ways in which second & third cup can be tested {AB, BA}. first & fourth cup already have probability 1.

probability that the contestant tasted all flavors = $$\frac{9}{9}*\frac{6}{8}*\frac{3}{7}*\frac{6}{6}*2 = \frac{9}{14}$$

required probability = $$1 - \frac{9}{14} = \frac{5}{14}$$

A lot of students have trouble with the highlighted line above.
I'm a bit not sure why we need to multiply by 2! instead of 4! (since we select 4 cups of tea) ?

GMAT Tutor
Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 4127
Own Kudos [?]: 9626 [9]
Given Kudos: 96
Q51  V47
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
6
Kudos
3
Bookmarks
varotkorn
dimitri92

i solved the question as follows. i hope my approach is correct.

let's consider that the contestant tasted all 3 flavors.
the first cup can be selected from any 9 cups. P = $$\frac{9}{9}$$
the second cup can be selected from 6 (other 2 flavors) of the remaining 8 cups. P = $$\frac{6}{8}$$
the third cup can be selected from 3 (flavor not tested yet) of the remaining 7 cups. P = $$\frac{3}{7}$$
the fourth cup can be selected from any of the remaining 6 cups. P = $$\frac{6}{6}$$

there are $$2$$ ways in which second & third cup can be tested {AB, BA}. first & fourth cup already have probability 1.

probability that the contestant tasted all flavors = $$\frac{9}{9}*\frac{6}{8}*\frac{3}{7}*\frac{6}{6}*2 = \frac{9}{14}$$

required probability = $$1 - \frac{9}{14} = \frac{5}{14}$$

A lot of students have trouble with the highlighted line above.
I'm a bit not sure why we need to multiply by 2! instead of 4! (since we select 4 cups of tea) ?

That solution doesn't even appear to be correct, so it's unfortunate that it's been kudo'ed so many times that it appears at the top of the thread. It seems it's multiplying by 2 somewhere to massage an incorrect answer into a correct one, and because we're multiplying by 2s and 3s no matter how we solve the problem, doing that can produce a right answer even when a method is wrong.

The starting assumption behind this solution is flawed. The solution assumes the first three cups of tea are of three different types. But for a person to taste all three types of tea, the first three cups do not need to be different. Perhaps the first three are Darjeeling, Darjeeling and Orange Pekoe. Then as long as the fourth cup is Oolong, the contestant will taste all three types (I don't drink tea, so I hope these are actual types of teas!). The calculation turns out to be right, but the rationale doesn't appear to be (or if it is, I'm not understanding the explanation).

It's possible to solve the problem this way, by finding the probability of tasting all three types and subtracting from 1, though it's probably my least favourite method to do this question (mira93's solution above is the way I'd prefer). If the three types of tea are A, B and C, we can start by finding the probability of tasting the teas in this precise order: A, A, B, C. That probability is (3/9)(2/8)(3/7)(3/6). But there are 4!/2! different sequences in which we can arrange the four letters A, A, B, C (we're just counting "words" with repeated letters), so the probability the contestant tastes A twice, and the other two teas once, in some order, is (4!/2!)(3/9)(2/8)(3/7)(3/6). Because the contestant might taste B or C twice instead of A, we need to multiply this by 3 to find the probability they taste all three types of tea. So the probability the contestant tastes every type of tea in the first four cups is

(3)(4!/2!)(3/9)(2/8)(3/7)(3/6) = (3)(4)(3)(1/3)(1/4)(3/7)(1/2) = 9/14

and 1 - 9/14 = 5/14 is the answer.
Volunteer Expert
Joined: 16 May 2019
Posts: 3504
Own Kudos [?]: 7066 [1]
Given Kudos: 500
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
1
Kudos
* This post has been edited to rectify an error.

If you tried to approach this question by working up to the answer, counting valid cups—e.g., 9/9 * 8/8 * 4/7 * 3/6—you would still get 4/14, and perhaps being a hair away from (B) would give you some confidence that you were on the right track. I would hope you would look at 1/12 (A) and 4/9 (C) or greater and think of them as less probable, in any case.

- Andrew

Originally posted by AndrewN on 09 Jul 2020, 10:09.
Last edited by AndrewN on 09 May 2021, 03:36, edited 1 time in total.
Joined: 18 Feb 2018
Posts: 68
Own Kudos [?]: 39 [0]
Given Kudos: 322
Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q50 V26
GMAT 2: 690 Q49 V34
GMAT 3: 710 Q50 V36
GMAT 4: 700 Q49 V36
WE:Operations (Internet and New Media)
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
Why does the order in which it is tasted matter over here? VeritasKarishma chetan2u

My approach: $$1- (\frac{3}{9}*\frac{3}{8}*\frac{3}{7}*\frac{6}{6}*\frac{4!}{2!})$$

Question is why is 4!/2! necessary. We're multiplying the probabilities. It doesn't matter in whichever order he tastes, right?
Tutor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 15317
Own Kudos [?]: 68203 [1]
Given Kudos: 442
Location: Pune, India
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
1
Kudos
harshbirajdar
Why does the order in which it is tasted matter over here? VeritasKarishma chetan2u

My approach: $$1- (\frac{3}{9}*\frac{3}{8}*\frac{3}{7}*\frac{6}{6}*\frac{4!}{2!})$$

Question is why is 4!/2! necessary. We're multiplying the probabilities. It doesn't matter in whichever order he tastes, right?

It doesn't and that is why you need to multiply by 4!/2!.

The 9 cups are all distinct - say C1 to C3 have Tea1, C4 to C6 have Tea2 and C7 to C9 have Tea3.

Now if you were select 3 cups, you would do it in 9C3 ways. Then you would arrange them in 3! ways if order mattered.

Note that in our original question when we write (3/9 * 3/8 * 3/7 * 1), we are not just selecting. We are picking a cup with Tea1 (3/9), a cup with Tea2 (3/8) and a cup with Tea3 (3/7) and then any cup (say another Tea2).

So this is the probability of picking Tea1, Tea2, Tea3 and Tea4 in that order only.
But hey, the order does not matter. So Tea2, Tea3, Tea1, Tea2 should be acceptable too and same for all other arrangements of Tea1, Tea2, Tea3 and Tea2. That is why you multiply by 4!/2! (because order DOES NOT matter). So you need to include all arrangements in which one can pick 3 distinct teas. Every such order is acceptable.
Joined: 04 Jul 2019
Posts: 13
Own Kudos [?]: 3 [0]
Given Kudos: 27
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
Hi VeritasKarishma could you explain for me why my solution is wrong?
My approach: 2 ways for the contestant can't taste all 3 samples: He tastes 3 cups of 1 samples and 1 cup of another sample OR he tastes 2 cups of each 2 samples.
- 1st way: choose 1 sample out of 3 to provide 3 cups: 3C1. Then, 1 sample out of the remaining 2 to provide 1 cup => 2C1 * 3C1
=> 3C1 * 2C1 * 3C1 = 18
- 2nd way: choose 1 sample out of 3 to provide 2 cups: 3C1 * 3C2. Then, 1 sample out of the remaining 2 to provide 2 cup => 2C1 * 3C2
=> 3C1 * 3C2 * 2C1 * 3C2 = 54
=> total probability = (18+54)/ 9C4 = 4/7

Tutor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 15317
Own Kudos [?]: 68203 [1]
Given Kudos: 442
Location: Pune, India
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
1
Kudos
Jane121393
Hi VeritasKarishma could you explain for me why my solution is wrong?
My approach: 2 ways for the contestant can't taste all 3 samples: He tastes 3 cups of 1 samples and 1 cup of another sample OR he tastes 2 cups of each 2 samples.
- 1st way: choose 1 sample out of 3 to provide 3 cups: 3C1. Then, 1 sample out of the remaining 2 to provide 1 cup => 2C1 * 3C1
=> 3C1 * 2C1 * 3C1 = 18
Correct.

Jane121393
- 2nd way: choose 1 sample out of 3 to provide 2 cups: 3C1 * 3C2. Then, 1 sample out of the remaining 2 to provide 2 cup => 2C1 * 3C2
=> 3C1 * 3C2 * 2C1 * 3C2 = 54
=> total probability = (18+54)/ 9C4 = 4/7

When you choose 3C1 and then 2C1, you are doing it from the same bunch so you are double counting. You need to directly select 2 of the 3. In your case, say you select T1 first and then T3. You take this as one case. Next time, you select T3 first and then T1. You take this an another case. But they both are the same because there is no arrangement.

So this is what you do:
You choose 2 samples out of the 3 samples which will be tasted in 3C2 ways.
For each of the 2 samples, you select 2 of the 3 cups in 3C2 * 3C2 ways.
You get 3C2 * 3C2 * 3C2 = 27 ways

Total = (18 + 27) / 9C4 = 5/14
Joined: 27 Mar 2017
Posts: 269
Own Kudos [?]: 77 [0]
Given Kudos: 406
Location: Saudi Arabia
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V39
GPA: 3.36
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
generis IanStewart

I tried to attempt this question with fundamental counting principle. Can you please point out my mistake here.

No of ways of 2 cups of same type and 2 of different types AABB = 9(first type)x2(should be same as first)x6(second type)x2(should be same as second) = 216
Different ways of (AABB)= 4!/(2!x2!) = 6
AABB = 216/6 = 36
No of ways of # cups of same type and 1 of different type AAAB = 9(first type)x2(should be same as first)x1(should be same as first)x6(second type) = 108
Different ways of (AAAB) = 4!/3!
AAAB = 27
Total ways = (9x8x7x6)/4! = 126
Probability = (27+36)/126=1/2

I know that I am doing a conceptual mistake but I can't figure out where.

Will appreciate help with this.
GMAT Tutor
Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 4127
Own Kudos [?]: 9626 [2]
Given Kudos: 96
Q51  V47
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
2
Kudos
I tried to attempt this question with fundamental counting principle. Can you please point out my mistake here.

No of ways of 2 cups of same type and 2 of different types AABB = 9(first type)x2(should be same as first)x6(second type)x2(should be same as second) = 216
Different ways of (AABB)= 4!/(2!x2!) = 6
AABB = 216/6 = 36
No of ways of # cups of same type and 1 of different type AAAB = 9(first type)x2(should be same as first)x1(should be same as first)x6(second type) = 108
Different ways of (AAAB) = 4!/3!
AAAB = 27
Total ways = (9x8x7x6)/4! = 126
Probability = (27+36)/126=1/2

I know that I am doing a conceptual mistake but I can't figure out where.

There are two separate issues with this solution. You first count how many ways to get the specific sequence AABB. But to get two teas each of two types, we could have various orders: ABAB, say, or BAAB. As you correctly calculate, there are 4!/(2!*2!) orders we can put these four letters in. So to find all of the sequences of A, A, B, B, you need to multiply by 4!/(2!)(2!), and not divide by it.

But then there is a second issue, which is quite subtle, that only affects the analysis of the first case. If you assume the first tea can be anything, the second must match, and then the final teas must match each other, you'll be counting the possibilities of getting AABB and also of getting BBAA. But then if you count all the orders you can put A, A, B, B in, you'll be rearranging AABB to get BBAA, and you'll thus be counting BBAA for a second time. So doing this double-counts every possibility, and we need to divide by 2 to get the right answer. That double-counting issue is the reason many solutions earlier in this thread proceeded by first selecting the two types of tea (3C2, or 3 ways). Then you get the sequence AABB in 3C2*(3)(2)(3)(2) ways, with no double-counting.

Finally, if you're solving this way, you're assuming you're selecting the four teas in order, so the denominator needs to be 9*8*7*6, and not 9C4. Putting all of that together, the answer becomes:

[ ((9)(2)(6)(2)/2) * 4!/(2!*2!) + (9)(2)(1)(6) * 4 ] / (9)(8)(7)(6) = (9*2*6*6 + 9*2*6*4)/(9)(8)(7)(6) = (12 + 8)/8*7 = 20/56 = 5/14

I think it's tricky to get to the right answer using this precise method, so I'd definitely prefer a different approach here.

Anant87
Can someone please explain to me what is wrong with this approach ?

I am calculating the probability of the opposite event - we need to make sure we select atleast 1 cup from each sample -

Options for selecting a cup from the first sample - 3C1
Options for selecting a cup from the second sample - 3C1
Options for selecting a cup from the third sample - 3C1
Options for selecting the fourth cup - 6C1 (as there are 6 options remaining in total)

So req probability = 1- (3C1 * 3C1 * 3C1 * 6C1)/9C4........which is -ve so obviously wrong

There are a couple of issues here. First, there are many ways to select one cup from each type of tea. Maybe the first two cups both are the same type of tea, and the final two are different. Or maybe the first cup comes from the third type of tea, not the first. You haven't accounted for any of those possibilities. There are solutions earlier in this thread that correctly count how many ways to pick one cup of each type, which you may want to look at. Just as importantly, when you're counting the ways to get one cup of each type, you're counting as if you're selecting cups in order. That's perfectly fine, but if you do that in the numerator of a probability, you also need to count the total number of possibilities (the denominator) as if you're selecting in order. So if you use this approach, your denominator would need to be 9*8*7*6, and not 9C4.

AndrewN
I then used, more or less, a slot-based approach to select valid options at each step.

__ __ __ __

The first cup can be selected from any cup, so the probability is 9/9. For the sake of simplicity, I simulated the first A being chosen:

AAA
BBB
CCC

The second cup can also be selected from any of the remaining cups, so the probability is 8/8. Again, I simulated an A being chosen, with an eye on exhausting the A's:

AAA
BBB
CCC

The third cup is where you have to be careful. You might think that of the remaining 7 cups, only 4 can be chosen: the third A + any of the three B's or C's, but this ignores the fact that the non-A cup is not yet determined in this scenario, so there can actually be 5 valid selections for the third cup: the third A + any of the three B's or C's + 1 of either B or C (to lock in a track).

I don't understand any of this solution once it gets to the third cup (it frankly doesn't make any sense at all to me -- if your first two cups are AA, the third cup can literally be anything). I think it's just coincidence that you've arrived at the right answer. Conceptually, the instant a solution assumes the first two teas are both "A", it cannot possibly be correct. That's because when the first two teas are the same (both A), it becomes less likely you'll try all three types of tea (compared to the situation when the first two teas are different). Since the probability you will get all three types of tea is different when you pick AA than when you pick AB/AC, it becomes mandatory to divide the problem into cases at that point.

You can adjust that solution. If we first pick any tea at all, call it 'A', then:

• 2/8 of the time we pick A on the second selection, and 1/7 of the time we pick A with our third selection. Then the fourth selection doesn't matter, so we get a sequence like AAAX (2/8)(1/7) of the time
• 2/8 of the time we pick A on the second selection, and 6/7 of the time we pick something else with our third selection. Then the fourth selection must either be 'A' or must match the third, so there are 3 things we can pick out of 6 possibilities, and the probability we get a sequence starting with AAX (where X is not A) is (2/8)(6/7)(3/6), if we don't want all three types of tea
• 6/8 of the time we pick something other than A on the second selection. Then our third and fourth selections must either be A, or must match our second selection. So we have 4 options with our third selection, and 3 for our last selection, and we get a sequence starting AX (where X is not A) that does not have all three types of tea (6/8)(4/7)(3/6) of the time

Those are all the possible cases, and adding them, we get

(2/8)(1/7) + (2/8)(6/7)(3/6) + (6/8)(4/7)(3/6) = (1/4)(1/7 + 3/7) + (3/4)(4/7)(1/2) = 1/7 + 3/14 = 5/14

But, as I said in an earlier post, the method I think is best for this problem is the one mira93 used: it's easy to work out the probability you don't get tea A on any selection (that's just (6/9)(5/8)(4/7)(3/6)), and then we multiply by 3 to get the answer, because we want to count the possibilities where we avoid tea B and tea C also.
Re: At a blind taste competition a contestant is offered 3 cups of each of [#permalink]
1   2
Moderator:
Math Expert
95690 posts