


Number
& Math Play
Pick
a Pair 


Ben has socks in five different colors: two pairs
of blue socks, two pairs of black, three pairs of
brown, four pairs of green, and four pairs of white.
Ben, who is not very neat, doesn't bother to pair
up his socks when he puts them away. He just throws
them in the drawer. Now Ben is packing to go away
for the weekend, but there's been a power failure
and he can't see the socks in his drawer. How many socks does he have to take out of his
drawer to be sure he has at least two that will
make a pair?



The answer is six socks. If Ben takes out five socks,
he could have one of each color, with no two matching
colors. But if he takes out six socks, two have
to be the same color, since there are only five
colors. (Sorry we tricked you with all that unnecessary
information!) 


