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# A lottery is played by selecting X distinct single digit numbers from 0 to 9 at once such that order does not matter. What is the probability that a player will win playing the lottery?

Difficulty: 600-700 Level, Probability, Data Sufficiency (DS)

Monday 25 July 2022, by

A lottery is played by selecting X distinct single digit numbers from 0 to 9 at once such that order does not matter. What is the probability that a player will win playing the lottery?

(1) Players must match at least two numbers with machine to win.

(2) X = 4

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EXPLANATION:

Statement #1: Players must match at least two numbers to win.

Now, at least we know what constitutes winning. The trouble is --- we don’t know the how many digits are picked. If X = 9 ---- the lottery picks all the digits from 1-9, then I also pick all the digits from 1-9 --- then I have 100% chance of matching at least two digits and winning. That wouldn’t be much of a lottery. If X = 3 --- the lottery picks three, and then I pick three --- well, that’s harder. Clearly the probability of winning depends on the value of X, and we don’t know that in Statement #1. This statement, alone and by itself, is insufficient.

Statement #2: X = 4

Now, we know how many digits are picked ---- lottery picks 4, then I pick 4 --- but now I have no idea what constitutes "winning". (This is an example of a DS question in which it’s crucially important to forget all about Statement #1 when we are analyzing Statement #2 on its own.) In Statement #2, we know how many digits are picked, but we have absolutely no idea what constitutes winning. This statement, alone and by itself, is insufficient.

Combined statements:

Now, we know --- the lottery picks 4 digits, then I pick 4 digits, and if at least two of my digits match two of the lottery’s cards, I win. This is now a well defined math problem, and if we wanted, we could calculate the numerical value of the probability. Of course, since this is DS, it would be a big mistake to waste time with that calculation. We have enough information now. Combined, the statements are sufficient.

Answer = C