My Lucky Day

David Post has one for the annals of improbabiity,

You Think You’ve Got Bad Luck?: Some of you may recall the weird story of a few years ago, when one of the giant balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York (the 60-foot tall “Cat in the Hat,” in fact) came loose, crashed into a streetlamp, and fractured the skull of one of the onlookers below. And most of you surely recall that last October a small plane co-piloted by Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle slammed into an apartment in a building on New York’s Upper East Side. What you may not know (and what I didn’t know until recently) is that these accidents both happened to the same woman. (I was pretty sure this must be one of those silly urban legends that make the rounds from time to time, but according to the NY Daily News, MSNBC, and others, it is in fact true). It truly boggles the mind — making the front page of the New York Times twice for falling victim to two of the most freakish, random, and improbable events one can imagine. The likelihood of this happening to the same person? Obviously, not zero (since it happened), but surely about as close to zero as one gets; what odds would you have given someone in 1998 if someone had been willing to bet on its occurrence?

At least she wasn’t on my flight home today from Sao Paulo.

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3 Responses to My Lucky Day

  1. Look up “Birthday Paradox”

    The chance of *some* random two improbable events happening to the same person is higher than you might think.

  2. Go Democrats! says:

    Seth Finkelstein,

    The more you speak, the more obvious it becomes how much you need to open up a book and educate yourself some more.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance

  3. Michael says:

    Actually, based on everything I’ve read, Seth is correct.

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