Problem #1428


Jacob uses the following procedure to write down a sequence of numbers. First he chooses the first term to be 6. To generate each succeeding term, he flips a fair coin. If it comes up heads, he doubles the previous term and subtracts 1. If it comes up tails, he takes half of the previous term and subtracts 1. What is the probability that the fourth term in Jacob's sequence is an integer?

$\mathrm{(A)}\ \frac{1}{6}\qquad\mathrm{(B)}\ \frac{1}{3}\qquad\mathrm{(C)}\ \frac{1}{2}\qquad\mathrm{(D)}\ \frac{5}{8}\qquad\mathrm{(E)}\ \frac{3}{4}$

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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