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Frank Morgan's Math Chat - 293 Ways to Make Change for a Dollar

MATHCHAT

April 19, 2001

Old Challenge (Joe Shipman). Larry King said in his USA Today column that there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. Is this correct? (Assume only currently minted denominations.)

Answer. Yes, if you count a one-dollar coin in change. Raymond Hettinger listed all 293 possibilities, appended at end of column. Michael Caulfield counted up the 292 possibilities other than a one-dollar coin as follows:

Given that 1 half dollar will be used, there are 50 combinations:
another half dollar (1 way)
2 quarters (1 way)
1 quarter with: 2 dimes (2 ways), 1 dime (4), or 0 dimes (6).
0 quarters with: 5 dimes (1), 4 (3), 3 (5), 2 (7), 1 (9), or 0 (11).

 

Given that no half dollars will be used, there are 242 combinations:
4 quarters (1 way)
3 quarters with: 2 dimes (2 ways), 1 (4), or 0 (6).
2 quarters with: 5 dimes (1), 4 (3), 3 (5), 2 (7), 1 (9), or 0 (11).
1 quarter with: 7 dimes (2), 6 (4), 5 (6), 4 (8), 3 (10), 2 (12), 1 (14), 0 (16)
0 quarters with: 10 dimes (1), 9 (3), 8 (5), 7 (7), 6 (9), 5 (11), 4 (13), 3 (15), 2 (17), 1 (19), 0 (21).

Torsten Sillke discussed how such computations can be accomplished with generating functions. See Herbert's Wilf's "Lectures on Integer Partitions" (page 10) at http://www.math.upenn.edu/~wilf The answer to our problem (293) is the coefficient of x^100 in the reciprocal of the following:

 

(1-x)(1-x5)(1-x10)(1-x25)(1-x50)(1-x100)

Al Zimmermann provided the following table of the numbers of ways you can exchange various units of currency for smaller units of currency:

 

Unit of Currency Number of Ways to Make Change
0
1
10¢ 3
25¢ 12
50¢ 49
$1 292
$2 2,728
$5 111,022
$10 3,237,134
$20 155,848,897
$50 58,853,234,018
$100 9,823,546,661,905

Zimmermann added: I did allow $2 bills. I did not distinguish between $1 coins and $1 bills in change. I thought about that one and decided that if I did distinguish, then I should also distinguish among the 50 different quarters now being issued. And I really didn't want to do that.

Following Caulfield and Zimmermann and disputing Larry King, Walter Wright says that a dollar coin cannot be considered change for a dollar bill: Webster's New World Dictionary defines change as "a number of coins or bills whose total value equals a single larger coin or bill."

Questionable Mathematics. Al Zimmermann reports that: "About three years ago I went to a Citibank ATM in midtown Manhattan to withdraw some cash. The machine rejected my request with the following message:

 

I cannot give you $130 because I only have bills in $50 and $20 denominations. Please choose another amount."

Of course $130 = $50 + 4 x $20.

Readers are invited to submit more examples of questionable mathematics.

New Challenge. What is the largest positive number that you can represent with three, distinct standard mathematical symbols, such as 8x9? The smallest?

 

 


Send answers, comments, and new questions by email to Frank.Morgan@williams.edu, to be eligible for Flatland and other book awards. Winning answers will appear in the next Math Chat. Math Chat appears on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Prof. Morgan's homepage is at www.williams.edu/Mathematics/fmorgan.

THE MATH CHAT BOOK, including a $1000 Math Chat Book QUEST, questions and answers, and a list of past challenge winners, is now available from the MAA (800-331-1622).

 


Raymond Hettinger's list of the 293 ways to make change for a dollar:

1 : 0 0 0 0 0 100 (0 dollars, 0 half-dollars, 0 quarters, 0 dimes, 0
nickels, 100 pennies)
2 : 0 0 0 0 1 95
3 : 0 0 0 0 2 90
4 : 0 0 0 0 3 85
5 : 0 0 0 0 4 80
6 : 0 0 0 0 5 75
7 : 0 0 0 0 6 70
8 : 0 0 0 0 7 65
9 : 0 0 0 0 8 60
10 : 0 0 0 0 9 55
11 : 0 0 0 0 10 50
12 : 0 0 0 0 11 45
13 : 0 0 0 0 12 40
14 : 0 0 0 0 13 35
15 : 0 0 0 0 14 30
16 : 0 0 0 0 15 25
17 : 0 0 0 0 16 20
18 : 0 0 0 0 17 15
19 : 0 0 0 0 18 10
20 : 0 0 0 0 19 5
21 : 0 0 0 0 20 0
22 : 0 0 0 1 0 90
23 : 0 0 0 1 1 85
24 : 0 0 0 1 2 80
25 : 0 0 0 1 3 75
26 : 0 0 0 1 4 70
27 : 0 0 0 1 5 65
28 : 0 0 0 1 6 60
29 : 0 0 0 1 7 55
30 : 0 0 0 1 8 50
31 : 0 0 0 1 9 45
32 : 0 0 0 1 10 40
33 : 0 0 0 1 11 35
34 : 0 0 0 1 12 30
35 : 0 0 0 1 13 25
36 : 0 0 0 1 14 20
37 : 0 0 0 1 15 15
38 : 0 0 0 1 16 10
39 : 0 0 0 1 17 5
40 : 0 0 0 1 18 0
41 : 0 0 0 2 0 80
42 : 0 0 0 2 1 75
43 : 0 0 0 2 2 70
44 : 0 0 0 2 3 65
45 : 0 0 0 2 4 60
46 : 0 0 0 2 5 55
47 : 0 0 0 2 6 50
48 : 0 0 0 2 7 45
49 : 0 0 0 2 8 40
50 : 0 0 0 2 9 35
51 : 0 0 0 2 10 30
52 : 0 0 0 2 11 25
53 : 0 0 0 2 12 20
54 : 0 0 0 2 13 15
55 : 0 0 0 2 14 10
56 : 0 0 0 2 15 5
57 : 0 0 0 2 16 0
58 : 0 0 0 3 0 70
59 : 0 0 0 3 1 65
60 : 0 0 0 3 2 60
61 : 0 0 0 3 3 55
62 : 0 0 0 3 4 50
63 : 0 0 0 3 5 45
64 : 0 0 0 3 6 40
65 : 0 0 0 3 7 35
66 : 0 0 0 3 8 30
67 : 0 0 0 3 9 25
68 : 0 0 0 3 10 20
69 : 0 0 0 3 11 15
70 : 0 0 0 3 12 10
71 : 0 0 0 3 13 5
72 : 0 0 0 3 14 0
73 : 0 0 0 4 0 60
74 : 0 0 0 4 1 55
75 : 0 0 0 4 2 50
76 : 0 0 0 4 3 45
77 : 0 0 0 4 4 40
78 : 0 0 0 4 5 35
79 : 0 0 0 4 6 30
80 : 0 0 0 4 7 25
81 : 0 0 0 4 8 20
82 : 0 0 0 4 9 15
83 : 0 0 0 4 10 10
84 : 0 0 0 4 11 5
85 : 0 0 0 4 12 0
86 : 0 0 0 5 0 50
87 : 0 0 0 5 1 45
88 : 0 0 0 5 2 40
89 : 0 0 0 5 3 35
90 : 0 0 0 5 4 30
91 : 0 0 0 5 5 25
92 : 0 0 0 5 6 20
93 : 0 0 0 5 7 15
94 : 0 0 0 5 8 10
95 : 0 0 0 5 9 5
96 : 0 0 0 5 10 0
97 : 0 0 0 6 0 40
98 : 0 0 0 6 1 35
99 : 0 0 0 6 2 30
100 : 0 0 0 6 3 25
101 : 0 0 0 6 4 20
102 : 0 0 0 6 5 15
103 : 0 0 0 6 6 10
104 : 0 0 0 6 7 5
105 : 0 0 0 6 8 0
106 : 0 0 0 7 0 30
107 : 0 0 0 7 1 25
108 : 0 0 0 7 2 20
109 : 0 0 0 7 3 15
110 : 0 0 0 7 4 10
111 : 0 0 0 7 5 5
112 : 0 0 0 7 6 0
113 : 0 0 0 8 0 20
114 : 0 0 0 8 1 15
115 : 0 0 0 8 2 10
116 : 0 0 0 8 3 5
117 : 0 0 0 8 4 0
118 : 0 0 0 9 0 10
119 : 0 0 0 9 1 5
120 : 0 0 0 9 2 0
121 : 0 0 0 10 0 0
122 : 0 0 1 0 0 75
123 : 0 0 1 0 1 70
124 : 0 0 1 0 2 65
125 : 0 0 1 0 3 60
126 : 0 0 1 0 4 55
127 : 0 0 1 0 5 50
128 : 0 0 1 0 6 45
129 : 0 0 1 0 7 40
130 : 0 0 1 0 8 35
131 : 0 0 1 0 9 30
132 : 0 0 1 0 10 25
133 : 0 0 1 0 11 20
134 : 0 0 1 0 12 15
135 : 0 0 1 0 13 10
136 : 0 0 1 0 14 5
137 : 0 0 1 0 15 0
138 : 0 0 1 1 0 65
139 : 0 0 1 1 1 60
140 : 0 0 1 1 2 55
141 : 0 0 1 1 3 50
142 : 0 0 1 1 4 45
143 : 0 0 1 1 5 40
144 : 0 0 1 1 6 35
145 : 0 0 1 1 7 30
146 : 0 0 1 1 8 25
147 : 0 0 1 1 9 20
148 : 0 0 1 1 10 15
149 : 0 0 1 1 11 10
150 : 0 0 1 1 12 5
151 : 0 0 1 1 13 0
152 : 0 0 1 2 0 55
153 : 0 0 1 2 1 50
154 : 0 0 1 2 2 45
155 : 0 0 1 2 3 40
156 : 0 0 1 2 4 35
157 : 0 0 1 2 5 30
158 : 0 0 1 2 6 25
159 : 0 0 1 2 7 20
160 : 0 0 1 2 8 15
161 : 0 0 1 2 9 10
162 : 0 0 1 2 10 5
163 : 0 0 1 2 11 0
164 : 0 0 1 3 0 45
165 : 0 0 1 3 1 40
166 : 0 0 1 3 2 35
167 : 0 0 1 3 3 30
168 : 0 0 1 3 4 25
169 : 0 0 1 3 5 20
170 : 0 0 1 3 6 15
171 : 0 0 1 3 7 10
172 : 0 0 1 3 8 5
173 : 0 0 1 3 9 0
174 : 0 0 1 4 0 35
175 : 0 0 1 4 1 30
176 : 0 0 1 4 2 25
177 : 0 0 1 4 3 20
178 : 0 0 1 4 4 15
179 : 0 0 1 4 5 10
180 : 0 0 1 4 6 5
181 : 0 0 1 4 7 0
182 : 0 0 1 5 0 25
183 : 0 0 1 5 1 20
184 : 0 0 1 5 2 15
185 : 0 0 1 5 3 10
186 : 0 0 1 5 4 5
187 : 0 0 1 5 5 0
188 : 0 0 1 6 0 15
189 : 0 0 1 6 1 10
190 : 0 0 1 6 2 5
191 : 0 0 1 6 3 0
192 : 0 0 1 7 0 5
193 : 0 0 1 7 1 0
194 : 0 0 2 0 0 50
195 : 0 0 2 0 1 45
196 : 0 0 2 0 2 40
197 : 0 0 2 0 3 35
198 : 0 0 2 0 4 30
199 : 0 0 2 0 5 25
200 : 0 0 2 0 6 20
201 : 0 0 2 0 7 15
202 : 0 0 2 0 8 10
203 : 0 0 2 0 9 5
204 : 0 0 2 0 10 0
205 : 0 0 2 1 0 40
206 : 0 0 2 1 1 35
207 : 0 0 2 1 2 30
208 : 0 0 2 1 3 25
209 : 0 0 2 1 4 20
210 : 0 0 2 1 5 15
211 : 0 0 2 1 6 10
212 : 0 0 2 1 7 5
213 : 0 0 2 1 8 0
214 : 0 0 2 2 0 30
215 : 0 0 2 2 1 25
216 : 0 0 2 2 2 20
217 : 0 0 2 2 3 15
218 : 0 0 2 2 4 10
219 : 0 0 2 2 5 5
220 : 0 0 2 2 6 0
221 : 0 0 2 3 0 20
222 : 0 0 2 3 1 15
223 : 0 0 2 3 2 10
224 : 0 0 2 3 3 5
225 : 0 0 2 3 4 0
226 : 0 0 2 4 0 10
227 : 0 0 2 4 1 5
228 : 0 0 2 4 2 0
229 : 0 0 2 5 0 0
230 : 0 0 3 0 0 25
231 : 0 0 3 0 1 20
232 : 0 0 3 0 2 15
233 : 0 0 3 0 3 10
234 : 0 0 3 0 4 5
235 : 0 0 3 0 5 0
236 : 0 0 3 1 0 15
237 : 0 0 3 1 1 10
238 : 0 0 3 1 2 5
239 : 0 0 3 1 3 0
240 : 0 0 3 2 0 5
241 : 0 0 3 2 1 0
242 : 0 0 4 0 0 0
243 : 0 1 0 0 0 50
244 : 0 1 0 0 1 45
245 : 0 1 0 0 2 40
246 : 0 1 0 0 3 35
247 : 0 1 0 0 4 30
248 : 0 1 0 0 5 25
249 : 0 1 0 0 6 20
250 : 0 1 0 0 7 15
251 : 0 1 0 0 8 10
252 : 0 1 0 0 9 5
253 : 0 1 0 0 10 0
254 : 0 1 0 1 0 40
255 : 0 1 0 1 1 35
256 : 0 1 0 1 2 30
257 : 0 1 0 1 3 25
258 : 0 1 0 1 4 20
259 : 0 1 0 1 5 15
260 : 0 1 0 1 6 10
261 : 0 1 0 1 7 5
262 : 0 1 0 1 8 0
263 : 0 1 0 2 0 30
264 : 0 1 0 2 1 25
265 : 0 1 0 2 2 20
266 : 0 1 0 2 3 15
267 : 0 1 0 2 4 10
268 : 0 1 0 2 5 5
269 : 0 1 0 2 6 0
270 : 0 1 0 3 0 20
271 : 0 1 0 3 1 15
272 : 0 1 0 3 2 10
273 : 0 1 0 3 3 5
274 : 0 1 0 3 4 0
275 : 0 1 0 4 0 10
276 : 0 1 0 4 1 5
277 : 0 1 0 4 2 0
278 : 0 1 0 5 0 0
279 : 0 1 1 0 0 25
280 : 0 1 1 0 1 20
281 : 0 1 1 0 2 15
282 : 0 1 1 0 3 10
283 : 0 1 1 0 4 5
284 : 0 1 1 0 5 0
285 : 0 1 1 1 0 15
286 : 0 1 1 1 1 10
287 : 0 1 1 1 2 5
288 : 0 1 1 1 3 0
289 : 0 1 1 2 0 5
290 : 0 1 1 2 1 0
291 : 0 1 2 0 0 0
292 : 0 2 0 0 0 0
293 : 1 0 0 0 0 0

 


Copyright 2001, Frank Morgan.

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