At a track event, there are eight different top-ranked runners. How many different ways are there for the eight runners to finish the race?



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. \(8 !=8 \times 7 \times 6 \times 5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1=40,320\). Therefore, there are 40,320 possible ways the eight runners could finish the race.

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