Postcrossing coincidences: What are the odds?

My apologies for creating a second topic within a day, but I need to share a wild coincidence that just happened to me, and I am wondering:

  1. What is the probability of something like this happening?
  2. Have you experienced amazing coincidences like this on Postcrossing?

Last month, I convinced my best friend to join Postcrossing. Since she is new, she has only sent a few cards so far.

Today, I drew an address in another country (the owner and nationality of whom I will not specify, so as not to spoil the surprise for the recipient). As I was looking through this Postcrosser’s recently registered postcards, I noticed one card that looked familiar. The username underneath it looked familiar, too.

Sure enough, my aforementioned friend had sent the card, which the Postcrosser had favorited. In fact, that was the first-ever address that my friend had drawn!

There are over 800,000 members on this site; I don’t know how many of them are eligible to be selected at a given time, but what is the probability that my best friend and I drew the same randomized address in such close proximity to each other?

Needless to say, my friend and I are absolutely amazed. Mathematicians, please chime in!

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Ah the mysteries of Postcrossing…

I had a neat bit of what I’ll call synchronicity (an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated) and maybe a bit of chaos theory (you know the butterfly flapping its wings in one place causing a hurricane somewhere else) recently.

I clicked on a cool looking postcard in the gallery & looked at the profile of the person who sent it. They had a very interesting profile & I thought oh, I’d love to swap with them, I’d love to connect with this person. Then I saw they were not interested in direct swaps & I thought sadly, oh well, that’s that.

And within a day or two, I got to draw a new address & it was this person - I couldn’t believe it, lol - so amazing. Little gifts from the universe!

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Several years ago, I got two cards from the same country on the same day, with US numbers that were one apart from each other. (Think 123 and 124.) Turns out,a mother and daughter drew my name at almost the same time.

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This is my favourite forum topic ever and I am glad it was already re-opened in the new forum. I have nothing to share at the moment, but keep them coming! :smiley:

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Oddly enough, I never used the old forum and was not aware it was such a popular topic. :sweat_smile: Happy to be of service!

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I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this! :flushed: Out of curiosity, do you recall if the mother and daughter were living in different cities or states? Even if they had intentionally requested addresses simultaneously (“One, two, three…GO!”), it’s still impressive that they drew consecutive numbers, let alone the same recipient. That’s incredible!

Even better then! :smiley: I did wonder, as I didn’t recognise your user name, but I know some have changed.

Here is a link to the old forum’s thread https://forum.postcrossing.com/viewthread.php?tid=69947
I believe this will remain readable, so it might be good to have here if people want to read it just for their entertainment. Some coincidences are so amazing, and no doubt there is many more to come! :partying_face:

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I took the original post to mean that they were a mother and daughter living together, but actually it is not specified so it could be any of those options. I have seen this type of situation mentioned by others so it does seem to happen occasionally. Still, it’s really fun!

It also happens to me that I draw an address, and in the received list I see someone I just sent to or received from, or someone I “know” like one of my postcard pals. But have it happen with a friend you encouraged to join is really a super cool coincidence. It does make me think that Postcrossing is somehow a small world after all.

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Guess what song I have stuck in my head now. :upside_down_face:

Oh–I forgot to mention also that the card that my friend had sent to this Postcrosser came from me! When she signed up, I mailed my friend a few blank, location-specific postcards that I had bought when we lived in the same city. So this Postcrosser will have technically received two cards from me, in a way. :rofl:

I once drew the same person’s two profiles with consecutive IDs. How unlikely is that?

Wait–you can have more than one profile?! Also, what did you write on both cards going to the same person? :joy:

It’s not allowed but plenty of people do it. I marked the cards as #1 and #2 and wrote separate messages that linked together. I also chose cards on the same Sherlock theme. She didn’t acknowledge it in any way in the Hurray messages but they were identical. The cards arrived on the same day as well.

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Hello Rebecca,
thank you for starting this interesting topic!
What happened to you is, indeed, very uncommon, but maybe not so uncommon…

Sure! In 2015, I received an official postcard from Mauritius, MU-3173, and two days later, a second postcard from there, MU-3168! Receiving a postcard from :mauritius: is uncommon, but two in a row! It turned out that they came from two siblings who drew addresses at the same time, and both of them got my address!

I’d say it’s a bit less unlikely if they use both profiles equally. I also got two profiles of a Turkish girl a couple of years ago.

Yes, you can, although it’s not an encouraged practice.

When it happens to me, I send two postcards in an envelope and write a longer message on them.

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Last June, after 4 months being inactive because of lockdown, I drew 2 Japanese addresses. The addresses are the same. The last name of both user are the same. Not sure if they are mother and daughter, sisters, or just same person with 2 different IDs. Their wish list are quite the same.

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Quite unlikely, especially with consecutive ID’s. Slightly less unlikely if you draw them further apart (days/weeks).

Once I drew some addresses and got the same Russian address twice, to a person with two accounts. Consecutive ID’s
And once a member in Brazil, with two accounts, drew my address twice, with both accounts. Not consecutive ID’s, but they were quite close.

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I once received two cards (NO-185964 and GB-1147767) that were sent by two separate people from two different countries less than one day apart, both using the same card.


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They lived together. The daughter was in elementary school. She mentioned that her mother drew my name the same day she did. I think they lived in Finland, but I’m not sure. Postcrossing was a lot smaller then.

Some weeks ago I got a card from Luxembourg and wrote that I got another card from that small country some days before. The sender replied that it was her colleague who was intrigued by her.
I was amazed!

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I don’t understand what you mean by ‘stack up’ - you mean you switch between active and inactive?

I received KN-21 and KN-22 from a couple who seperately from eachother drew me when requesting a card in travel mode! That was such a pleasent surprise!


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