This week’s numbers in the real world: License Plate numbers.

This picture was taken at a restaurant In Jackson, WY that since has gone out of business. Not even a wall of license plates in the women’s restroom could keep people coming in to buy food and drink.

But I digress. . .

License plate numbers are obviously important for giving each car a unique number-letter combination for easy identification by friend or foe. Hopefully, most of the people identifying your car via its license plates are friends.

• The origin of the license plate dates back to 1901.
• These early plates were the owner’s initials.
• Wyoming’s plate design first appeared in 1936 and is the oldest design still in use.
• In 1928, Idaho became the first state in the nation to feature a graphic on a license plate.  A gigantic potato filled the entire license plate.

Here is a classic statistics homework question involving license plates:

How many different 7-place license plates are possible if the first 2 places are for letters and the other 5 for numbers?

I’m not making this up people!  That’s a lot of combinations!

Oh, but what if no letter or number can be repeated in the combination?