Your Choice: Heads or Tails?

Decisions, decisions.  They can be tough.  Should you take the dreaded 8am class?  Should you head to the Thursday night party or stay in and study?  Which textbooks should you buy: New, Used, Rental or Digital?  What to do?

In times of great indecision it’s no wonder many of us turn to coins to make the choice for us (who said change is useless?).  With a simple coin toss, your unanswered questions and conflicts are solved.

If you’ve used a coin to choose your fate, you’re not alone.  Many big decisions in history were made with a quick flip.  Here are three historic decisions made with a coin toss.

If you’r not sure which to choose, let Honest Abe be your guide.

After one of his buses broke down, Buddy Holly chartered a plane out of Fargo, North Dakota to fly out his band, according to classicbands.com.  The plane was one seat short, leaving one of Holly’s band members and Richie Valens to flip a coin for the remaining seat.  Freezing during the current snow storm and tired, both desperatley wanted a spot on the flight.  Valens won the toss.  The plane tragically crashed during the storm just one mile from the airport.  And that was “the day the music died.”

Back in the day, Francis Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy shared the deed on a 640 acre parcel of land in Oregon, but couldn’t agree on a name, notes PDX History.  Lovejoy wanted to name it after his hometown of Boston, Massachussettes, while Pettygrove preferred to name it after Portland, Maine.  With the flip of a coin, the decision was made– Pettygrove won and we now have Portland, Oregon.

In 1903, the Wright brothers took their plane to the skies in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  Since the plane only sat one person, they flipped a coin to see who would be first in flight, according to First Flight Foundation.  Wilbur won and took off– but he was only airborne for about three seconds.  The next day, Orville successfully flew the aircraft for 12 seconds, leaving him with credit for the first successful flight.

Have you made decisions with the help of a coin toss?  Share your story with us in the comments below!

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  1. Demetrios Frangos says:

    I keep a quarter with me at ALL times. Not only does it solve my basic indecisiveness but I use it in big decisions with a rather interesting logical thought. Say I have to chose something as important as love between…I don’t know…2 girls. Ok I have to chose girl A or B so If i assign A to head and B to tails I flip a few times. The initial flip however is the most important because if it lands on heads and I feel a bit sad, I now know B was the one I wanted.

    • tamarabn says:

      Demetrios!!! Great comment. Coins really do help us choose. We’d love to include your comment in an upcoming campaign for our bookstores. Can you e-mail us and we will give you the details? Thanks!! marketing@bncollege.com

  2. […] asked you some tough questions the past few weeks, like: “Heads or Tails in a coin flip?” and “Summer or Fall?”.

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