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Interview Question

Creative/Digital Media Intern Interview San Jose, CA

How many jelly beans fit in a basketball? — Asked by a

  iter.
Tags:
brain teaser
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Interview Answer

2 Answers

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I froze up at this question. My friend later told me I should have asked something like: Is this a NBA-sized basketball?

Interview Candidate on Dec 2, 2012
1

A basketball is a hollow sphere. Say the radius of the basketball is e.g. 5 inches (I think it's actually 4.5 inches but the 5 will make calculations easier).

V = 4/3 pi r^3
= 4/3 * pi *125
= 500/3 * pi

So approximately 500 cubic inches (let pi = 3, then the 3 cancels out).

Now consider a jelly bean. Assume the jelly bean is cylindrical. It has a radius of say 0.5 inches and height of 1 inch.

V = 1 * pi * .25^2
V = 1/16 * pi
Approximately 1/4.

Then number of jellbeans = Volume Sphere / Volume Cylinder = 500 / (1/4) = 500 * 4 = 2000.

Anonymous on Dec 21, 2012

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