# Three Greeks, three Americans and three Italians are seated at random around a round table. What is the probability that the people in the three groups are seated together?

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I know the answer is #3/280# but am unsure how to get to it.

Thanks!

I know the answer is

Thanks!

##### 1 Answer

#### Explanation:

Let's count the ways all three groups could be seated next to each other, and compare this to the number of ways all 9 could be randomly seated.

We'll number the people 1 through 9, and the groups

#stackrel A overbrace(1, 2, 3), stackrel G overbrace(4, 5, 6), stackrel I overbrace(7, 8, 9)#

There are 3 groups, so there are

#AGI, AIG, GAI, GIA, IAG, IGA#

So far this gives us 6 valid permuations.

Within each group, there are 3 members, so there are again

#123, 132, 213, 231, 312, 321#

#456, 465, 546, 564, 645, 654#

#789, 798, 879, 897, 978, 987#

Combined with the 6 ways to arrange the groups, we now have

And since we're at a round table, we allow for the 3 arrangements where first group could be "half" on one end and "half" on the other:

#"A A A G G G I I I"#

#"A A G G G I I I A"#

#"A G G G I I I A A"#

The number of total ways to get all 3 groups to be seated together is

The number of random ways to arrange all 9 people is

The probability of randomly choosing one of the "successful" ways is then

#(6xx6xx6xx6xx3)/(9xx8xx7xx6xx5xx4xx3xx2xx1)#