22 July 2005

"That's fairly improbable..."

'In his book about probability, Lady Luck, published in 1963, the American mathematician Warren Weaver recountred a bizarre coincidence that befell his neighbour, George D Bryson. The story began with Bryson making the 1000-mile journey by railway from St Louis to New York. He was in no hurry, and decided to stop off along the way in Louisville - he had never been there and thought it might be fun. He enquired about suitable accommodation and was directed to the Brown Hotel.

Bryson had a quirky sense of humour; at the mail desk he asked if there were any letters for him. He was stunned when a girl promptly handed him one addressed to Mr George D Bryson, Room 307 - the very room he'd just checked into.

It turned out that the previous occupant, who worked for a Montreal insurance company, had the same name. The two men eventually met, Bryson later recalled, to confirm that they both really existed'

- Sunday Times Magazine (UK), 29 May 2005

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