Problem #1984


Let $N$ be a positive multiple of $5$. One red ball and $N$ green balls are arranged in a line in random order. Let $P(N)$ be the probability that at least $\tfrac{3}{5}$ of the green balls are on the same side of the red ball. Observe that $P(5)=1$ and that $P(N)$ approaches $\tfrac{4}{5}$ as $N$ grows large. What is the sum of the digits of the least value of $N$ such that $P(N) < \tfrac{321}{400}$?

$\textbf{(A)}\ 12\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 14\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 16\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 18\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 20$

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

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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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