The Other Dianna

As of the 23rd May 2022 this website is archived and will receive no further updates. was produced by the Winton programme for the public understanding of risk based in the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. The aim was to help improve the way that uncertainty and risk are discussed in society, and show how probability and statistics can be both useful and entertaining.

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In 2014 I was going to take a train from Ardmore Oklahoma to Fort Worth Texas to visit a friend of mine. My friend had purchase my ticket online and emailed my ticket confirmation number. On the morning of my departure my husband drove me to the train station. That way I did not have to leave my car parked at the train station. Neither of us had ever taken the train before, so we were unsure on how to proceed. Did we need to get my ticket printed? Should we wait for the train to arrive? We had no idea. As we pulled into a parking spot I noticed an older Ford pickup pull up to the right of us. An older man and woman occupied the truck. The man was driving and woman was practically leaned into the windshield. I suffer from anxiety and for whatever reason a couple in the pickup truck set my anxiety off. I told my husband the back out it's at trucks just didn't seem right it was causing me to have an anxiety attack. I put it in reverse I noticed that the truck began to back out. I told my husband never mind. He put the car in park and we got out of our car and went into the train depot. We didn't see anyone but we heard the train approaching. We proceeded to the platform to wait for the train to stop. As the train came to a halt, two conductor's exited the train. One directly in front of me and the other just to the right of me. If it wasn't for the events that took place next, I would have sworn the conductor's were twins. However, I didn't have a chance to do a double take to confirm they were identical. They could have just looked similar. At any rate, the conductor that was in font of me started towards me, and he had the strangest grin on his face. As if he had a secret. As he approached me he said you must be Dianna O'Neal. As I was about to say yes.... I kid you not, the woman from the pickup literally jumped in front of me and exclaimed she was Dianna O'Neal. I said no I am Dianna O'Neal. Without missing a beat, as if this was perfectly normal, the conductor asked if we had a ticket or did we need to purchase a ticket. I explained that I had a ticket and I had a confirmation number in my email. The older lady said she needed to purchase a ticket. The conductor then asked if we had identification. We both handed him our ID'S and as he looked them over with a smirk on his face, he said, interesting. He then said, I wonder what the chances of you two being here, on this exact same day, and the exact same time, in the small town of Ardmore Oklahoma. You see, we had the same name... First, middle and last. Even the same birthday if I remember correctly. All except the year we were born. He then stated that he had a friend that was a mathematician. He said, I wonder what the probability would be that in the small town of Ardmore, ok, with the population of 25,226. What the chances of you both being here at that exact same time and exact same day. He then said probably 1 in a billion. It was the most bizzare experience. My husband never said a word nor do I remember him seeming surprised or alarmed. He just stood there with his hands in his pockets all cool and calm as he normally appeared. I took my train to fort worth and met my friend as planned. Still to this day I get an odd feeling when I think about that day.
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Date submitted:Tue, 18 Jan 2022 16:14:44 +0000Coincidence ID:12283