In a track event with eight distinct top-ranked runners, what is the total number of possible race finish arrangements?
Detailed Explanation
This problem can be solved by using a factorial. Factorials help you find permutation-all the ways an event might turn out. Factorials are calculated by finding the product of a whole number and all the whole numbers less than that number.
8! = 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 40,320.
Therefore, there are 40,320 possible ways the eight runners could finish the race.
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