You are outside a well known restaurant, waiting in queue, with 18 couples in front of you. You know there are forty tables inside, and you think an average meal will take one hour.

How long will you have to wait, on average?

PS. This problem comes from queueing theory, but you don't have to know anything about it to find the answer!

The rate of people getting in should equate the rate of people coming out. If a meal takes one hour, in that time 40 tables would be emptied, so on average a couple would enter every 90 seconds.

As you came in a random moment, the first couple will have to wait, on average, 45 seconds. The next 17 couples will wait 90 seconds each, and you'll have another 90 seconds to wait -- all together, 27 minutes and 45 seconds.

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