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Math Help - Baseball Cards

  1. #1
    MHF Contributor
    Jul 2008

    Baseball Cards

    You are trying to collect all nine baseball cards for an All-Star team. Each package of cards you can buy has one card of a memeber of the team. The cards are equally distributed among all the packages. How could you use a simulation to estimate the number of packages of cards you will need to buy to get all nine cards?

    I think I need to multiply 9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1 to get the correct number of packages. I would need to purchase to make sure that I get all the cards. Am I correct or am I WAY off base?

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  2. #2
    Super Member
    Mar 2008

    There is no way to be sure you will get a complete set, no matter how many packages you buy. For example, you might buy a million packages and they might all turn out to have the same player-- not likely, but possible.

    I think the problem is asking you to find how many packages you have to buy, on average, to get a complete set. More formally, let's say X is the number of packages required to get a complete set. X is a random variable, and you would like to find (or estimate) its expected value.
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