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NIELIT 2017 DEC Scientist B - Section A-58

There are $6$ boxes numbered $1,2$,$\dots$,$6$. Each box is to be filled up either with a red or a green ball in such a way that at least $1$ box contains a green ball and the boxes containing green balls are consecutively numbered. The total number of ways in which this can be done is :

  1. $5$
  2. $21$
  3. $33$
  4. $60$
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Option B. 21

If only one of the boxes has a green ball, it can be any of the 6 boxes. So, we have 6 possibilities.
If two of the boxes have green balls and then there are 5 consecutive sets of 2 boxes. 12, 23, 34, 45, 56.
If 3 of the boxes have green balls, there are 4 possibilities: 123, 234, 345, 456.
If 4 boxes have green balls, there are 3 possibilities: 1234, 2345, 3456.
If 5 boxes have green balls, there are 2 possibilities: 12345, 23456.
If all 6 boxes have green balls, there is just 1 possibility.

Total number of possibilities = 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 21.

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