Sometimes it’s easier to make a hard decision when you let fate decide for you.
These Redditors share the most serious decisions that came down to a coin flip.
Source at the end of the article.
I picked my major by flipping a coin. I couldn’t decide which language to study alongside German, so I flipped a coin: heads Italian, tails Russian.
I now live and work in Moscow and speak Russian fluently, so that decision had a huge impact on the direction my life took. No regrets though.
There is a professor who is an alumnus of our school. Not only that, he was a part of the very first graduating class in 1961. He has been teaching here for over 40 years.
Now, the story goes that he had some trouble deciding on a major, stuck between engineering and physics. So, he decided to flip a coin. Heads, he would be an engineer. Tails, a physicist. He flips a coin and, what do you know, it lands on its side in a crack on the sidewalk. Instead of picking up the coin and flipping it again, he decided on chemistry.
Over 50 years later and he’s still teaching chemistry here, so I suppose that worked out well for him. The story is quite the legend around here, as is he.
My American great grandfather after fighting in WWII, looked up his distant cousins in England whom he’d never met. They showed him the hospitality and love of a long lost son. They drank and danced and sang old songs for 2 weeks. At the end he was so happy and in love with the people and culture there that he couldn’t decide whether to come back home. So he flipped a coin.
He left their company with great sadness and many tears. He came back home. Immediately met a girl, fell in love and started the family that ultimately begat me. So you can thank a coin flip for this post I guess.
I used to have a coin specifically for this purpose, an American silver eagle. It was a large coin, worn and dented by the weight of many decisions. The last time I flipped it, I decided to abandon my life and start anew. I left my job, my home, and my girl, hitting the road in a packed hatchback with a cat in my lap and seven boxes in the mail. I left the coin to her.
I have a new coin now. It is a hundred year old Chinese copper piece, worn down to almost nothing by its past life. It’s made only a few decisions so far.
It was my first blind date, June 2010. I was 19 years old, my hair was growing back from me hacking it off after a nervous breakdown. The guy and I were waiting for the rest of our group before we went anywhere. There was no talking, I was nervous and decided to get a soda at the nearby store. I got some coins in change and decided to flip one to see if I would go back and see where the date would go or if I would make up an excuse and go home, read my book and watch Mallrats again.
Well, I did not go home and he wound up proposing before Thanksgiving that year. Still together, married and considering kids. And we have dogs.
Back in the early 80’s I presume my father was on a motorcycle trip with his buddy who we will call Ed. Now they have somewhere to be but they have just enough time for a little side trip. Ed wanted to visit a girl. The problem was he couldn’t pick which one. Apparently he had a couple ladies in different cities.
So there they were at a crossroads, one way would take them to one gal the other way would take them to a lady named Twila. A coin is flipped and they are on their way to Twilas apartment that she shares with (you may have guessed it) my mother.
The moment my father laid eyes on my mother he knew he loved her. And when she fed him home cooked chop suey after the trip he had been on, he was sure. They married a few years later and had my sister a few years after that. Then me several years after that.
They are now divorced but hey, I wouldn’t exist had that coin flip gone differently.
In college, my roommate and I flipped a coin for who got what room in our house. One room, the back room, was twice the size of the other room and had a bathroom off the bedroom. It also had backyard access to a wooded lot and a firepit. The front room was tiny, and the sun shone in every morning and woke you up. The roof leaked. The bigger room was undoubtedly better in every way.
We flipped a coin with witnesses and I even gave him the call, and I won the toss. I believe he called tails. I got the room for what ended up to be two years, so that worked out pretty well. When he moved out and another friend moved into the house in his place, he took the small room by default. I kept the big room the whole time and paid equal rent, despite offering to pay more multiple times. It was the most worthwhile coin toss I ever had.
We had been trying to move in together for a few years at this point, but couldn’t agree on anything. We both wanted cheap, but he wanted storage and a washer and dryer in the unit, etc. I just wanted cheap and safe. And anything cheap around where we currently lived wasn’t safe at all. I had always wanted to be closer to work, he kept agreeing but was only looking in and around nearby towns – which wasn’t going to help up. When we seriously looked at the finances, I told him honestly that we had to move closer to work, it was time to find jobs closer to where we currently lived (which wouldn’t’ve paid half of what we currently make).
We were under the clock at this point, though. I had started a new, higher paying job. We could afford to move out NOW, essentially. No more dragging our feet, no more waiting. We could have our own space next month… and I wanted it. At the very least, I wanted to be in a new place when the summer was over. I explained it to my SO and he agreed.
At dinner one night, we had narrowed it down to two places going by distance on Google Maps. We wanted to be as fair as we could for travel time to our jobs. I pulled out a coin and told him, “Heads, we go to town A, tails we go to town B.” He agreed.
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Heads won the flip.
We had never been there before, never even heard of the town before (when we told people where we were moving to, they had no idea where we were talking about), but the very next day we drove up to see the complex and town, we weren’t sold on it completely (in hindsight, I have no idea what we were waiting for) and made an appointment to see the vacancy and sign paperwork.
4 months later and we’ve got our apartment in this old, quiet town and our commutes are cut in half. This is the perfect spot, close to everything and we’re talking about buying a house in a few years and just recently looked up prices. They’re about half the price they were from where we came from. We could actually afford one if we work decently hard. They’re smaller and older and will need work, but it’s just us and the dogs so we don’t need much space and he likes the idea of fixing something up.
My parents are wonderful and let me live with them rent and expense free when I decided to attend a law school a commutable distance away to save on cost of living loans. However, they decided it was time to downsize as my 3rd and final year began. I had to start looking for new apartments. With that being said, my commute was already 90 minutes each way and I don’t like the city the school is in, giving me a wide net to cast as to where I could live.
Ultimately, I found two great apartment complexes. One was about a 10 minute walk from a commuter train station and a studio. The other was a 15 minute walk from the train station but a 1 bedroom that costs only $75 more per month. I liked them both and thought the differences were negligible at worst. So, I flipped a coin. Heads for the studio, tails for the one bedroom.
I hit tails and moved to the one bedroom.
I’ve been there for a week now, and it’s a great apartment, but I’ve missed my train once already, and it turns out I can fit all of my furniture and possessions in a 10 foot truck. As in, the smallest ones they offer. There is so much empty space in the apartment that it casts a wide echo and the downstairs neighbors complained about the noise I was making on two occasions. What was the noise? I was walking.
My wife and I flipped a coin to decide to get married.
We were both 22 years old, and had been living together for about a year, as she finished nursing school. After graduation, she accepted a position in Houston TX, about 90 miles away. She knew that I wasn’t the “marrying kind” and she left for her new life in Houston.
So I sat on the couch alone after she left for a while before she returned, having only driven around the block a couple of times. She exclaimed that she knew that I was a gambling man, and offered up the coin flip challenge. Heads, we got married, tails, I would never see her again. I agreed and she flipped the coin. Heads it was!
This happened at 9:00 AM, and by 5:00 PM we were married at the local courthouse. We went straight to the beach for a cheap honeymoon, and called our parents from there to give them the news. This was 34 years ago. Turned out to be a great move!
I flipped a coin when I was deciding to enlist.
I’d already spoken with a recruiter when he came to my school. One day, probably six months later, he called me back. I guess I’d marked that I was interested in joining one of the branches and he was trying to get me into his. He originally called when I was unavailable, and I ended up flipping a coin whether to call him back. It came up heads, so I called.
Months go by, and I’m at MEPS debating if I want to sign my contract. So I asked the recruiter if I could take the time to think for a few minutes. Walking out of his office, I pull out my wallet and get my coin out. A good strong flip, and it came up heads. When I walked back in, he was chuckling and handed me a pen.
It’s been almost a year since I got on the bus and, as miserable as I am sometimes, I’m glad those flips came out how they did. A year and a half ago, I was a sloppy looking kid who probably shaved once every week or two. Now, I’m semi clean cut. I care about my appearance. More importantly, I have goals. There’s something legitimate for me to work towards. And I’ve made some good friends, too.
At the end of my second quarter freshmen year studying Information Technology I was unhappy with my program. I hated being told after asking questions that I did not need to know how it worked just that it did work. So I didn’t take any more IT courses my third quarter and decided to flip a coin. The decision was heads change to Biology, the major my parents didn’t want me to go into, and tails computer science. So it was heads and I am a Biologist, and I married a computer scientist.
I flipped a coin to decide whether I was going to stay in college, get my degree, and be miserable for the rest of my life or to drop out and come out as transgender and hope for the best. The coin came up heads and I dropped out the next week. I moved back in with my parents and came out to them and a couple friends and results were… Mixed. Someone I talked to online offered to let me stay with him and because I was still crazy depressed I figured “what the hell, couldn’t be any worse”
It’s been four years since then and we’re very happy together.
Not a coin, but same concept.
During the summer after my last year in high school my best friend and I took to my car for days at a time with just a Magic Eight ball. We aimed to venture all around our state only by asking for directions from the Eight Ball. Yes, it was quite dangerous at times but we had a lot of fun.
For instance, if we came up to an intersection and were curious on whether we should or not turn we would ask the ball. In the instance of it saying “no” or “ask again later” we would proceed to ask for other directions or pull over altogether. This also pertained to pit stops and side adventures (jumping off bridges, walks through woods, etc.).
I still have the Magic Eight ball on my desk and have not been in contact with my friend as much since I graduated and embarked on college. Regardless, whenever I do see him we do digress in all the memories.
Me and my husband flipped a coin to decide our firstborn child’s middle name. My pick won.
We were at Cheddar’s and I was somewhere in the middle of my second trimester. We had the first name picked out for quite awhile, but couldn’t agree on a middle name at all. I kept going back and forth between my husband’s choice and mine, so we decided to let the coin decide for us.
I’m actually really glad that we ended up not going with the other name. I know someone who had a child right before my son was born and they ended up using that name. We also get compliments on his name quite frequently and it seems to fit his personality quite well.
To either go to Europe to play soccer or stay in the US to go to college and then maybe play soccer.
I’m actually really happy that happened because the stress on me was huge. I first decided to play for the German youth national team but because I look hispanic, I was given less playing time than my teammates, I used my retrial to return to the United States youth national team and am now going to go play with them this winter.
Playing at this level is stressful, I don’t know if I can go any higher without having a breakdown or I might just be too young to handle it.
One of my teachers (who was honestly more friend than teacher at that point) moved from Michigan to Arizona for a job. A few weeks later, he offered me a job working for him as a developer. I had very little money to make the move, absolutely no support in Arizona whatsoever, and no safety net if I failed. I couldn’t bear to make the decision myself, so I decided to leave the biggest decision of my life to chance.
I flipped a coin. Heads, I pack my car and spend what little I have in the bank, and get to Phoenix. Tails, I stay in Michigan, stay the course and become a designer there.
It was heads.
Flipped again, heads. Did it again. Heads.
I flipped that damn coin 9 times, all heads. That night, I accepted his offer and let my parents know I was leaving. That was two and a half years ago. I’ve found success as a developer, I’ve made a partial-life for myself, and I am fairly satisfied with the direction the coin pushed me (although I wish it had considered my finances more. First few months were rough)
In a past relationship, we came to a very difficult bump, we loved each other, but we fought so much it didn’t seem worth the effort anymore, after a long discussion, I took a penny out of my pocket, heads we stay together and spend a week together trying our hardest to fix the problems, tails we split for good, yet stay friends. It was heads, we fixed the relationship, it lasted a further two months with very few problems and then we crashed.
Sometimes a coin flip might fix a problem, sometimes it fixes the problem for a bit, only for you to possibly need to flip a coin again
In first year of university, myself and 8 other friends were trying to find a house to rent for the following year to live in. After realizing that finding a 9 person house was nigh impossible, we decided to split our group into a 5 group and a 4 group and find our own houses. People had decided on the group they were staying in except for myself and my friend. The group of 5 found a house and were signing the lease, and my friend and I both didn’t know which house/group to go in, so we flipped a coin.
That the coin toss basically dictated the next 3 years of university, was crazy. I lost but ended up being happy about it for other reasons.
I did this for college. I got into all the UCs and everyone was telling me to go to UCLA because it’s a ‘better school’. But then I visited UCSC and everything about it was perfect.
When it came time to decide, everyone was pressuring me and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I flipped a coin.
Ended up going to UCSC and I have no doubt it was a better choice.
My grandad was riding his motorbike on his way to his engagement ceremony/dinner when he started having doubts as to whether he should go ahead and marry the girl in question. So he stopped the bike, took off his hat and decided to throw it in the direction of a nearby fence. If the hat made it over the fence he would go ahead with the whole plan. If the hat did not make it across the fence he would just turn around and ride his bike home.
The hat did not make it over the fence. The girl’s family waited for him for ages but he never showed up. He ended up marrying another girl a few years later: my grandma.
My aunt died this past year from complications of diabetes. At reception after her funeral, my family and I all sat around talking about her, as funeral attendees are want to do. One of my other aunts said, “Did you know she flipped a coin to decide if she would get divorced?” I said, “Which time?” And, of course, the answer was, “Probably both!”
Apparently she made a lot of decisions by flipping a coin, though. Probably selling her shop, moving, that sort of thing. Being part of my family, it’s easy to see why she left the big decisions to a coin flip: it takes the stress out of it, and she had enough of that in her life already.
When I was a sophomore at university, I was going through a really tough time. My ADHD and bipolar disorder combined to make decision-making really difficult, and the presentation of choices on even the most trivial of matters could send me into an anxiety attack.
Seeing that my straight A’s were beginning to slip into B’s and even C’s, one of my computer science professors called me into his office so that we could discuss what was going on. After I explained, he told me about the time that he flipped a coin to decide which of two universities to attend after high school. It landed on tails and he landed in Cal Poly. As he is now a computer science professor at a major research university, he assured me that everything worked out fine.
After he told me this, he gave me a quarter so that I could make trivial decisions without all of the stress. I still have that coin.
In year 10 I was really not enjoying high school (retrospectively it was more just teenage angst but I took it out on my education and blamed the schools compulsory catholic classes) So I saw some scholarship for another school my older cousin went to and always talked fondly about. After taking the test I realized I didn’t want to leave my friends at my current school.
Skip forward a month or so we hadn’t heard back so I assumed I didn’t get accepted and was relieved, but I flipped a coin and said if i got the scholarship and the coin was heads I’d accept it otherwise I’d stay at my school. So anyway surprisingly a week later I got a letter offering me the scholarship and a place and accepted it, and moved to a new school for years 11 and 12 where I didn’t know anyone. It’s pretty strange to think of my friends and people I met at that school that would just be complete strangers had I not changed schools.
This is a story about my great grandfather. He was in college at the time and was apart of a research group that was right on the verge of isolating insulin. As the story goes, the lab did not have enough money to employ both him and his coworker at the same time over their summer break, so they decided that one of them was going to work the first half of the summer, and the other would work the second half so that they each could get some experience and training. They chose who would go first based on a coin flip. My grandfather lost the coin flip and the other guy decided to take the first half of the summer.
Turns out, in the first half of the summer, the guy who won the coin toss and the lab director successfully isolated insulin and they were awarded the Nobel prize in 1923. He always believed he was just as capable as the other guy and had he been working at the time he would have been able to isolate insulin as well. Yea, so my great grandfather lost the Nobel prize on a coin toss.
My Dad wanted to continue school and become an engineer. His father wanted him to become a carpenter. They agreed to flip a coin. My father lost.
So he quit school at grade 10, got an apprenticeship, became a carpenter for the next 40 years. I don’t think he ever forgave his father for making him make that bet.
Just the other day our poker game ran late and we flipped a coin to decide 3rd and 4th place. I lost and the difference was about $80.