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9 different fruit pies are to be divided between 3 people so that each person gets an...

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jspake | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM via web

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9 different fruit pies are to be divided between 3 people so that each person gets an odd number of pies. Find the number of ways this can be done. Please explain in detail how to solve this question.. I'm completely confused. Thanks

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tjbrewer | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted April 26, 2013 at 8:21 PM (Answer #1)

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This question is one to look for a "lure" in.  The most tempting answer is to answer the division problem most commonly posed by this problem `9-:3=3` .  However, that seems awfully simple for a High School Senior, and the terminology "odd" indicates that you are not to distribute the pies evenly. 

The question is asking "How many different ways can you distribute the pies so that each person has an odd number of pies?"  You could distribute them: 1, 1, 7; or 1, 3, 5 etc.  Diagramming or tables might help you keep track of who got how many pies. 

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