Team stein!

Yesterday morning at the doctor’s office I, Bob Glickstein, signed in at the reception desk. I was followed by a man named Milstein. He was followed by a man named Epstein!

Suppose fully 5% of this office’s patients have names ending in “stein” (surely a very generous assumption). The odds of three of those patients showing up in a row at random are slimmer than 8,000 to 1 — and they only get slimmer if the proportion of “stein” patients is less than 5%, as seems likely. (At 2%, the odds shoot up to 125,000 to 1 against.)

The likelier explanation is that it was “stein” day at this particular office. Gratifyingly both Mr. Milstein and Mr. Epstein pronounced it STEEN like I do, not STINE like Drs. Franken- or Ein-. What are the odds of that!

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