Someone Can’t Do Math

I was doing my normal perusal of the papers this morning, reading an article about Arcadia (a city in Southern California) and the problem of selling homes with the number “4” in the address to Chinese… when I run across the following:

“There are 20,000 homes in Arcadia. One in four has a number four in it. That’s a potential of 3,000 addresses that could be changed,” said Councilman Roger Chandler, who is against restarting the program [to allow people to change their house numbers].

How’s that again? If home numbers are distributed uniformly, then I would think the chance of having a four in the number should be closer to 1 in 10, although that might be skewed by the first digit. That would certainly increase the odds of the first digit being 1, and of course the odds of a zero are lower because we drop leading zeros in addresses. But for the number “four”, 1 in 4 seems far too low to me.

But let’s suppose they are correct on the odds being 1 in 4. Then if there are 20,000 addressed, wouldn’t that be a potential of 5,000 addresses, as 5,000 x 4 = 20,000.

Somehow, I think this councilman doesn’t know what he’s talking about.