Number One

The Puzzler

RAY: Here's the answer. Let's look at a single-digit number, you know like one, two, three, four, five. What are the chances that that digit is a one? Well it's one in ten, right, because there are ten digits, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

So if there's a one in ten chance that it is a one, there's a nine in ten chance or nine-tenths chance that it isn't. Or point nine (.9).

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: And in fact the chance that all six digits on the odometer reading are not one, is point nine (.9) raised to the power of six. And if you multiply that out, which I did of course,
point nine (.9) to the sixth power comes out point 531441. Or 53 point 1441 percent. OK, so 53.1441% of those million numbers have no one (1).

TOM: Gotcha.

RAY: And if there are a million numbers, 53% of those is 531,441 numbers that contain no one (1) in them.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: Pretty neat, eh? Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yes. We do have a winner. The winner is Don Boshara from Titusville, Florida. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Don is going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which he can get a brand-new blue on blue Latin T-shirt, that says Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis.

RAY: Which is the Latin translation of my brother's personal creed and motto: Unencumbered by the Thought Process.

TOM: Absolutely man, absolutely. Congratulations, Don!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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