Telephoney
Probability puzzles require you to weigh all the possibilities and pick the most likely outcome.
One boring, rainy Madadian evening, Mad Ade sat waiting for the "Sweaty Chef Kebab" shop to open. He was staring aimlessly at the telephone. He began to wonder to himself, "If you were to dial any 7 digits on a telephone in random order, what is the probability that you will dial your own phone number?"
Assume that your telephone number is 7 digits.
Answer
The answer is 1 in 9,000,000.
To my knowledge it is only dialing codes that can start with a zero. As the number is only 7 digits long let's assume no dialing code is present.
The first digit of the number is therefore 19.
The 2nd to 7th digit of the number could be 09.
Therefore the solution is:
1/9 * 1/10 * 1/10 * 1/10 * 1/10 * 1/10 * 1/10 = 1/9,000,000.
If the first digit can be a zero, the answer would be 1 in 10,000,000.
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Comments
jimbo
Mar 12, 2003
 I think the answer according to the wording is 1 in 10 000 000. The teaser said dial in random order. Like if a monkey started pushing the buttons. The monkey is not going to say hey I had better not push zero first up because that's not a proper phone number! 
madade
Mar 12, 2003
 the answer does say it is 1/10,000,000 if the first number is a zero, and 1/9,000,000 if you only count possible valid phone numbers. 
dazza
Mar 12, 2003
 A small technicality for Australian viewers. Here in Oz we have 8 digit phone numbers. Dialing 7 random numbers has 0% probability of getting anyone's phone number at all, least of all your own!!! 
madade
Mar 13, 2003
 and that is why the teaser clearly states "assume that your telephone number is 7 digits" 
Pheonix_down
Apr 10, 2003
 Easy to figure out but harder to explain why.... 
gogogo1
May 23, 2003
 If the number could have started with a zero, it would have been 10 to the power of 7 because there would have been 10 digits possible.
Thats why the answer is 100,000,000 
beanie89
Aug 11, 2003
 Who really cares? 
Varthen
Jul 02, 2004
 thats wrong because 0 MUST be inclided if the number is random 
piett
Aug 01, 2006
 In the US at least, the 1st number cannot be a 1 or 0 (1 calls longdistance, 0 calls the operator), and the fourth number cannot be 9, as this is reserved for pay phones. There may be other restrictions, but I doubt it. 
mathgrant
Nov 18, 2008
 This isn't about how many possible valid telephone numbers there are; this is about the probability that seven random digits will match a specified phone number. All 10,000,000 of the possible 7digit numbers are equally likely to result from the randomization process, be they valid phone numbers or not. The given answer is wrong. 
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