The term low probability event refers to something highly unlikely to happen.
Some are unlikely in and of themselves, such as winning the lottery or being struck by lightning.
Others layer more than one statistical anomaly on another to make an even less probable event, such as being struck by lightning multiple times or surviving a plane crash. As being in a plane crash is a slim possibility, adding survival makes the occurrence even rarer.
But these things do happen and someone is there to tell the tale.
Reddit user ExoGeniVI asked:
"What is the lowest probability event you have personally witnessed?"
"At 13 years of age, my father and I used to go to dirt track races at the Dixie Speedway in Georgia. We always cheered for car 28.
"At 21 years of age, I start dating this girl in North Carolina and somehow get on the subject of Dixie Speedway as she was from Georgia."
"'My father used to race there... number 28'."
"I was in a restaurant in Spain the night they were holding the nation's largest lottery."
"The staff won the lottery that night. I spent the night in a restaurant of celebration and champagne."
"I remember the owner was really worried his whole staff was going to quit."
"Since the restaurant was still there the next time I visited Spain I'm assuming it did fine."
Long Way To Go For Tech Support
"Just before going off the a new city, I was working in a computer store. Sold a nice local couple a new laptop."
"A week later I'm 1000 miles away taking the subway from the airport to pick up the keys to my new place."
"I hear 'Hi, <my name>' and look over, and it's that same couple."
"I saw a giraffe poop on another giraffe's head."
"You’ve lived a full life."
"Honestly, what is left to experience after that...‽‽"
Luck Be A Lady
"Saw a lady walk by one of those banks of slot machines where you can win a car--the kind where the car is actually on the casino floor. She stopped, considered for a moment, then turned around and put a buck in."
"Spins. Jackpot. Alarms go off. Won the car."
"She freaks out. Like, freaks the f*ck out. Screaming, crying, yelling, barking, you name it. Almost faints a time or two. Her girlfriends finally get her calmed down, and they're waiting for casino staff to come over and do their thing."
"But this lady, she just won a car. So she's restless."
"And to give herself something to do, she walks over to another bank of slot machines."
"A bank of slot machines where you can win an entirely different car. So she puts a buck in."
"Spins. Jackpot. Alarms go off. Won another car."
Oh, Canada 🇨🇦
"I'm from Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada."
"I was visiting Munich, Germany and met a couple from White Rock, BC. They were distressed because something got screwed up in their itinerary and my friends and I helped them sort it out."
"Weeks later I am taking the train from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Bruges, Belgium during a massive thunder storm. I actually saw a tree get hit by lightning then a minute later they announced we would be going back because there was an issue ahead."
"We get back to Amsterdam and the station is packed with so many people who are trying to figure out what the plan is now."
"Then I hear someone yell my friend's name and it's our new friends from White Rock, BC, who we've now met in two different countries 8000km from home where we live 40 minutes (50km) apart."
Take A Hike
"I met two English guys in Thailand and spent a day hiking with them."
"Then a year later I was walking down a small street in Croatia and heard a shout from a little cafe. Sure enough, there's the two dudes with some friends."
"We hadn't kept in contact or anything but the one who'd given a shout recognized my fluorescent pink shorts."
"We went rock climbing together the next day and I ripped my shorts. Apparently they'd served their use."
Money, Money, Money 💰
"I had both my best friend and a family member separately win the Powerball within a 2-year span."
"Is anyone in your family or social circle willing to adopt an adult?"
"One of my extended family members won it… TWICE. In three years!"
"I ran into an old friend from high school, on a study abroad in Germany, while I was in college."
"We did not go to the same college."
"He was not on a study abroad—he was traveling with his girlfriend."
"We were not headed to or leaving from the same event, or even in that town in Germany for the same reason."
"We hadn't spoken in years, so neither knew the other was even going to be travelling."
"I was coming out of a shop onto a street and he was walking down the street facing me."
"If I wait 15 seconds, I miss him. If I go 30 seconds earlier, I miss him. If I turn the other way, I miss him."
"Let me reiterate, with ZERO coordination or bias towards Germany—we both independently became interested in Germany—we picked the same town, on the same day, on the same street, at the exact same time and happened to see each other."
Men Wielding Metal Rods In Open Fields 🏌♂️⚡️
"I was playing golf in a corporate league and one of the guys said 'this field is where I was struck by lightning'."
"I thought that was interesting but then another guy said 'you’ve been struck by lightning too?'."
"It’s probably not insanely unlikely but it felt like I was living in the start of a statistics test problem for a second."
"Small world stuff..."
"So I went to the same elementary school with this guy. His family moved, then a year later my family moved to the same town. We hung out a bit but not that much."
"Then years later I started working at a golf course and he’s a member there. I happen to get a job at a golf course in Florida. He’s ALSO a member there. We’ve somehow followed each other basically 1,500 miles."
"I have another small world story."
"I’m sitting at my local watering hole, enjoying a beer, and I’m sitting next to some dude. We start shooting the sh*t."
"Turns out we’re born in the same city, same hospital and are actually alumni. He’s a couple years older than me. He also plays golf. Basically became BFFs after that."
"I even have a 3rd small world story."
"My cousin is in Europe at an event. She happens to start talking to a woman on the street who is also at the event and realize they can both speak English to each other."
"They get to talking and realize they are from the same town in Canada. They start hanging out and have a blast for the rest of the trip."
"Turns out my Cousin is hanging out with my mom’s best friend from college who happens to be at the same event in Europe."
"My mom pieced it all together when she heard them tell the same story but from opposite sides. Like wait a second… I just heard this exact thing from my niece…"
Card Carrying Coincidence 🃏
"Poker night with friends: One friend got two royal flushes in a row."
"Odds of that happening are just a little better than a BILLION to one."
The Greatest Generation
"Was at a veterans get together and two guys were talking about Normandy."
"One was a landing craft driver and the other was a Royal Marine that took part in the landing."
"Eventually their stories line up really well, so well in fact that that landing craft driver drove that UK Marine to shore during D-Day."
Weather You Believe It Or Not
"I was in the back of the house, and looked out the back window, saw it was raining and yelled to my brother he should bring his laundry in."
"He was in the living room at the front of the house, looked out the window, blue sky and sun, no rain. He said I was crazy, I told him to come look."
"We went out the front door, and it was raining in the back yard. A line that stopped right at the peak of the roof as far left and right as you could see."
🎵 We'll Meet Again... 🎶
"My great grandpa was in WW1. He got stuck in no man's land for a few days wounded, and eventually got to a hospital, and spent 6 months there."
"Got to be good buddies with the guy in the bed next to him, but eventually both left."
"Decades later, he's at a party, gets to talking to another guy his age about the war."
"Turns out to be the same guy he was next to in the hospital."
"Back to back to back winning 13s on roulette."
"Doubled up after the first one because some randomer told me to take my winning chip off the number, it's not coming up again."
"Came up, left the doubled up chips on again, another win for three in a row."
After the third time they said 'Wow, are you leaving it on again??'."
"I said 'No, I'm not stupid' and left with all my winnings."
The small world events are definitely the most common, but with an estimated 8 billion people on the planet, these stories are still statistical anomalies.
So what low probability event have you witnessed?