Archive for the ‘What Are The Chances?’ Category

What Are The Chances?
July 25, 2007

An incredible thing happened to me the other day. Something so statistically unlikely that it seemed amazing it had really occurred.
I guess we all think the improbable is possible, or we’d never buy a lottery ticket. Consider the odds of winning a Mega-Millions jackpot, for instance. They are 1 in 176-million. According to National Safety Council, you have a far better chance of dying this year from contact with a venomous snake or lizard. You are 28 times as likely to be struck and killed by lightning this year.
Which brings me to my story. I recently got a call from an old friend from my Public Broadcasting days. Her name is Faith Sidlow, and she is now a television anchor for NBC in Fresno.
With a group of friends we gathered on the beach to talk about old times and new ones. In passing, one of us, I can’t remember which, mentioned my birthplace, Pasadena, California.
“Well, how interesting”, Faith observed. (or words to this effect) “My husband was born there also.” I had earlier learned that he and I were the same age. “Really? In what hospital?” “Saint Luke’s”, came the reply. Now, you must understand that St. Luke’s was a nice, medium sized hospital. Not the biggest in Pasadena, but anyway, back to the story. “What Month?” Turns out he and I were born in the same month of the same year in the same maternity ward. “And, uh…What Day?” Well, it was exactly the same day!
We, of course called Faith’s husband in Fresno, trying to determine the exact hour of his birth. Mine was 7:09 A.M. He couldn’t recall, but he remembered his mother telling him that just as he was to arrive, her doctor was called away to another delivery, and a different doctor brought him into the world. Hmmm.
I’d be curious to know what the statistical chances of that happening are? My nursery roommate marries my longtime friend, whom I’ve never known, except he might be one of the first people I ever met.
Years ago, I used to do a talk radio show with a professional astrologer and psychic named “Nova”. People would call in and tell her the date and place of their birth. With this information she was able to consult a star chart, or some such thing, and determine their qualities of personality, aptitude for love, and cholesterol count. It certainly seems to me that I have to make a trip to Fresno to meet Faith’s husband. I mean, the stars and planets must have been pretty much in the same spot when we came into this world maybe only minutes apart. We must be emotional and intellectual twins! At the very least we should get a Mega Millions ticket!

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