Project Euler 132: Large repunit factors

In problem 132 of Project Euler we are going back to working with repunits in a problem that reads

A number consisting entirely of ones is called a repunit. We shall define R(k) to be a repunit of length k.

For example, R(10) = 1111111111 = 11 x 41 x 271 x 9091, and the sum of these prime factors is 9414.

Find the sum of the first forty prime factors of R(109).

This is a pretty large number, and having to actually do trial division would be a pain and take quite a while, even though we have BigInteger class which is certainly a help here.

Investigating repunits, we can realise (or look up on wikipedia),  that we can represent a k digit repunit as

So for a few examples we have

So at least this seems to be correct. In order to check if a prime number p is a prime factor we can check if the modulo is 0, so for a repunit we can check

Which we can rewrite in the following way

And this helps us, since we can now use the modulo power function in the BigInteger which I got to knew in the comments to Problem 48. This function is really efficient and therefore we should be able to make decent solution in C# based on this

int result = 0;
int count = 0;
int[] primes = Sieve(2, 200000);
int k = (int) Math.Pow(10, 9);
int i = 0;

while(count < 40){
    if (BigInteger.ModPow(10, k, 9 * primes[i]) == 1) {
        result += primes[i];

This piece of code runs in 36ms on my computer, which is fast enough for all I care.  The result is

Sum of the first forty prime factors of R(10^9): 843296

You can find the solution for this rather short problem right here.

Posted by Kristian


Similar ideas:

import math

######## Sieve of Erastosthenes part #########
MAX = 200000
isprime = [False,False]

#fill with Trues
for i in xrange(2,MAX+1):

#begin sieving
j = 2
for j in xrange(2,MAX+1):
	if isprime[j] == True:
		k = j
		for k in xrange (2*k,MAX+1,k):
			isprime[k] = False
##### End of Sieve of Erastosthenes part #####
factornum = 0
factorsum = 0
i = 7
while (factornum<40):
	if isprime[i] and pow(10,10**9,i)==1:
print factorsum

I wonder if there is a different approach to this solution.

There is one other method that I am aware of, but that is pure brute force and pretty slow.

Jean-Marie Hachey

Hi Kristian,

I tried your algo and found:
“Sum of the first forty prime factors of R(10^9)” :
The following results are from Kamada’s table:
111111111 = 3^2 x 37 x 333667 (100.00%)
Sum of these factors: 333713
Thanks for the presentation and the code.
Factorizations of 11…11 (Repunit)

Jean-Marie Hachey


In my previous comment there was a confusion between

R(k)=[(10^k)- 1]/9




Results obtained via Kristian’s algorithm:

“Sum of the first ten prime factors of R(10^9)”.

“Sum of the first twenty prime factors of R(10^9)”.

“Sum of the first thirty prime factors of R(10^9)”.

“Sum of the first forty prime factors of R(10^9)”.

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