In how many ways can we list out a string of seven numbers (using only the numbers 1, 2, and 3) such that they sum to 10?

1 Answer




Let's first look at the number of ways we can have 7 digits with the number 1, 2, and 3 add up to 10:


In fact, there are no other combinations of numbers that will get us to 10.

Ok, so how many permutations can we make with these combinations of numbers?

Let's do #3+2+1+1+1+1+1=10# first:

There are 7 places the number 3 can go - so that is 7.

Once the 3 is placed, there are 6 places the 2 can go - so that is 6.

The rest of the numbers are 1's and so there is only 1 way to do the "filler" with the 1s.

So there are #7xx6=42# different numbers we can make with this combination.

Now to #2+2+2+1+1+1+1=10#

We can place the three 2s across the seven places in many different ways. This is a combinations problem (we don't care which 2 ends up where), and so there are:

#C_(7,3)=(7!)/((3!)(7-3)!)=(7!)/((3!)(4!)# ways, which equals:


And so there are #42+35=77# different numbers that can be made.