There was an extraordinary coincidence this morning, when a man reading a book noticed that the date on which events in the story were taking place, were doing so on 1 November, which was said to be a Sunday - just exactly as it is today, Sunday, the first of November!
The odds of this happening are astounding.
Moys Kenwood, 57, was reading 'The Earth' by Émile Zola when he turned to Chapter 4 on page 64, and read:
"It so happened that the following Sunday fell on November 1st, All Saints' Day..."
This was very strange. The odds of Zola having chosen Sunday, as opposed to one of the other days of the week, are 7 to 1.
Having further selected 1 November as the date, the French author had dispensed with the idea of 364 alternative dates, meaning the odds of "Sunday, 1 November" occurring had been raised to 2,555 to 1.
There's more, if you can take it.
The odds on Kenwood having read that sentence on a Sunday were also 7 to 1, making the chances of Zola's date coupled with Kenwood having happened upon it on the Sabbath, now an incredible 17,885 to 1, and the fact that it was 1 November, the same day and date of the year which Zola had written about, meant the odds for an Accumulator that would have been offered to Zola by a betting shop in 1887, when he wrote 'The Earth', would have been an astonishing 6,528,025 to 1.
Quite what the odds of you, the reader - along with all these other coincidences - having read the story also on the first day of November, are unfathomable, particularly as it's also a Sunday.
It's a shame Zola didn't put a few francs on it.