Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Amy, a student:

Central Middle School is hosting a city-wide ping pong tournament. Twenty students signed up for the tournament. Each player plays another; the winner goes on to the next round. Elimination games continue until there is one grand winner. How many games must be played to find the grand winner?
Is the answer 19?

Hi Amy,

The way I see this is that there is 1 winner and 19 losers. Each loser lost exactly 1 game so there must have been 19 games.


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