One of the odds.

We may not remember it, but life is one of a kind.
Every moment of our lives is made of endless possibilities.

We tend to forget that. To live our existence as if they were granted or set in stone. People always do that. I do that. But life has its ways to remember us that it’s not a never-ending succession of monotonous moments.

It may take a brutal turn : a disease, a death around you, a break-up… well, you got the picture.
And obviously, the exact opposite, a great joy : a birth, a marriage, an achievement… so far, that’s not rocket science.

And in between there are events that will not cause great distress nor euphoria. Moments of life, worth living and worth sharing : anecdotes.

The one I’m about to tell you simply remind me that the most unlikely course of events do happen every once in a while.

Long story short : I had lost my keys and recover those within an hour.

Long story long now, with mathematical probabilities :

  • Probabilities that I wear pants with holed pockets
    = number of pants with holed pocket / number of pants = 1/20
  • Probabilities that I put my keys in that holed pocket = 1/5
  • Probabilities that I don’t hear my keys falling on the ground cause I have my headphone on = 1/2
  • Probabilities that friends lent me their flat while they are on holidays and specifically asked me NOT to lose their keys
    = number of times people lent me their place / number of holidays I have lived in my adulthood
    = 3/36 = 1/12

So far that makes 1 chance on 2400 that this situation could happen.

And what about the probabilities that I could recover those in a hour ? That they were not picked up by some ill-willed person ? That I could not see them on the ground ? The realm of possibilities was very wide, and I was very fortunate since I simply showed up at the train station and asked for my keys and got those handed back to me.
Let’s just say that it could have happened in a hundred different ways.
So that’s 1/100

Multiply this by 2400 and you get an anecdote that could happen only once every 240 000 times. Comparatively, in poker you have roughly one chance on 45 000 times to get a straight flush.

This is how improbable that story is.


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