Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Are The Odds?

What are the odds of two random people crossing paths at Love's Truck Stop on the south end of Cheyenne, WY (I-25 exit 7)?

(If they are two people who live down the street, one would argue that the odds are pretty good. But that doesn't make them random; that makes them neighbors.)
Let's say one person was traveling from South Dakota to Loveland, CO. Like this:

Let's say the other person was traveling from Denver, CO to Torrington, WY. Like this:

Now what are the odds that any two people on those routes would be in the same place, at the same time, in the most sparsely populated state in America, many hundreds of miles from where either of them had ever lived?

Now, what are the odds that these two people were both originally from the same town of about 150,000?

What are the odds that these two people actually knew each other?

What are the odds that they were in the same graduating class of 151 students?

What are the odds...

...that you would run into your first girlfriend as she was buying snacks in the process of moving from South Dakota to Loveland, CO and you had flown into Denver, driven north into Wyoming, and stopped to use the restroom?


m.v. said...

happens all the time:when I was in Ukraine 5 years ago after ten year break, I went to a bar with friends where I was recognized by a guy from my kindergarten, I was 35.

Craig said...

"Never tell me the odds..."
Han Solo

JJSKCK said...

m.v. - Were you in your hometown? That's a little different since there is a higher probability of seeing people you know. This was at a truck stop far away from where either of us lived, and we just happened to be there for the same 5 minute interval.

Then again, I may be overestimating the sheer randomness of it all.

Craig - You're a nerf herder.

The DLC said...

This stuff never happens to me. Unless of course, it's someone I absolutely hated.

m.v. said...

it was my hometown, but I haven't seen this guy in 30 years and even I wouldn't recognize myself now.

Alan said...

That's a wonderful random happenstance, but I would submit that there actually is a good chance that, as we criscross the country established highway corridors, running into someone you know at a place where a healthy percentage of travelers stop is bound to happen once in a while.

Doesn't mean it ain't creepy, though.

If you ran into her in a Hanoi crack den, now that would be truly spectacular.