Coupon Collector Problem

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If a package has one of 50 random baseball cards, how many packages do you need to buy to get a complete set? The expected answer is packages, where is the harmonic number . Switching from baseball cards to coupons gives the coupon collector problem: if there are different kinds of coupons and many of them are distributed randomly, the expected number of purchases necessary for a complete set is .

Contributed by: Ed Pegg Jr (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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