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Math Help - Urgent help on probability

  1. #1
    Amy
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    Urgent help on probability

    Five people are selected at random. What is the probability that none of the people in this group were born in the same month?

    is it 1-(12/12c5)
    please help
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  2. #2
    Senior Member DivideBy0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    Five people are selected at random. What is the probability that none of the people in this group were born in the same month?

    is it 1-(12/12c5)
    please help
    I got

    \frac{12 \cdot 11 \cdot 10 \cdot 9 \cdot 8}{12^5}

    It's equivalent to placing the five people in twelve chairs. 12 choices for the first, 11 for the second ... etc.
    Divded of course by the number of ways they can sit if they are allowed to sit on top of each other
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  3. #3
    Amy
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    Quote Originally Posted by DivideBy0 View Post
    I got

    \frac{12 \cdot 11 \cdot 10 \cdot 9 \cdot 8}{12^5}


    Divded of course by the number of ways they can sit if they are allowed to sit on top of each other

    it is not clear to me...
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  4. #4
    Senior Member DivideBy0's Avatar
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    Ok I'm just using:

    Pr(Favourable \ Outcome) = \frac{number \ of \ ways \ favourable \ outcome \ can \ occur}{total \ number \ of \ outcomes}

    We'll simplify this to

    Pr (X) = \frac{n(X)}{n(\varepsilon)}

    where Pr(X) is the probability the 5 people are born in different months and the set \varepsilon represents all possible outcomes.

    Perhaps the chair analogy wasn't a very clear one. Let's go back to the months. We need to find the number of ways five people can be born on different months.

    There are 12 different months and 5 people, and this is sampling without replacement, so we use permutation:

    n(X) = P_5^{12}= 95040

    And the total number of possibilities for the months the 5 people are born in are given by n(\varepsilon)=12 \times 12 \times 12 \times 12 \times 12=12^5 because each person has 12 months to choose from. It's just the multiplication principle for counting.

    So Pr(X) = \frac{95040}{12^5}=\frac{55}{144}
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