"Exactly the Same Tie" (Gallery View)

Two Discovered Wearing Exactly the Same Necktie
Meaning of rare event not entirely clear
By Tom Dukich

SPOKANE, WA.—The man pictured on the left is Serge Poborka. He is from Brighton, Michigan, which is 1,669 miles away from Spokane. Serge Poborka is wearing EXACTLY the same Conte di Milano necktie I bought in Spokane over ten years ago! I don’t know Serge and I have NEVER seen anyone else with this pattern of necktie. Ever.

The chance of Serge Poborka getting his picture in the Spokane newspaper, given he is from Michigan, is about 1 in 4 million. In addition, on any given weekday, there are 22 million men in this country who wear NECKTIES of some sort to work. It’s estimated that there are one thousand of these Conte di Milano ties still “in circulation” in the U.S.

The probability of Serge Poborka having the same necktie as me, actually wearing it when he got his picture taken, and that I would also notice him in the newspaper on that particular day, is astronomically small. One estimate puts it as low as 1 in 500 MILLION. The chance of being hit by lightning is much, much greater than this, about 1 in 3 million according to the National Lightning Safety Institute. I am pictured on the right wearing the rare Conte di Milano necktie Serge and I have in common.

What should I make of this? Is it a good sign or a bad sign? Should I be happy or nervous? Should I have bought a lottery ticket that day? Or, maybe stock in Serge’s Company, Paccar, Inc.? Paccar Inc. manufactures large diesel trucks like Kenworths. My father was a diesel truck mechanic.

Should I call Serge Poborka? We look alike and we both have Eastern European-sounding names. Is he an unknown relative or maybe even a brother?

Or should I just chalk it up to CHANCE like the time I was thinking about my friend from Dillon, Montana and he called me at EXACTLY that moment?

But then again, maybe this is like the probability of someone, somewhere, at sometime winning a lottery twice? The chance that it’s a particular person specified in advance is very, very small, something like 1 in 10 TRILLION. But the chance that it is some person and some lottery not specified in any way is about 1 in 30, better than the chance of being dealt three of a kind in poker. Maybe it's the case that every day, someone, somewhere sees a picture in the paper of someone else from far away and they have the same tie? It’s just never happened to me before. Now I’m really confused.

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