ExplanationFirst, expand 10! as 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1.

(Do not multiply all of those numbers together to get 3,628,800—it’s true that 3,628,800 is the value of 10!, but analysis of the prime factors of 10! is easier in the current form.)

Note that 10! is divisible by 3x5y, and the question asks for the greatest possible values of x and y, which is equivalent to asking, “What is the maximum number of times you can divide 3 and 5, respectively, out of 10! while still getting an integer answer?”

In the product 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1, only the multiples of 3 have 3 in their prime factors, and only the multiples of 5 have 5 in their prime factors. Here are all the primes contained in 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 and therefore in 10!:

10 = 5 × 2

9 = 3 × 3

8 = 2 × 2 × 2

7 = 7

6 = 2 × 3

5 = 5

4 = 2 × 2

3 = 3

2 = 2

1 = no primes

There are four 3’s and two 5’s total. The maximum values are x = 4 and y = 2.

Therefore, the two quantities are equal.
_________________

Sandy

If you found this post useful, please let me know by pressing the Kudos Button

Try our free Online GRE Test