People From Around The World Share Their 'One In A Million' Stories

People From Around The World Share Their 'One In A Million' Stories

Food for thought: with the world's population hovering just under 8 billion, even if you were one in a million, there would still be 800 of you. That's the entire population of Halstatt, Austria. Most of us go through life without experiencing a "one in a million" event. We don't get struck by lightning, or win the lottery, or save a life. We're just lucky, or unlucky, as the case may be. However, you can live vicariously through these stories of people from around the world who really are one in a million.


32. Strikingly rare.

I was struck by lightning while talking on a landline. This was in the early 90s. Lightning struck the telephone line and traveled through the handset to my ear.

My parents drove me to the ER. I couldn't talk very well. My brain knew what I wanted to say, but my mouth didn't want to say it. I had a terrible stutter.

My doctor told me that I had had a 'dose of good, old fashioned electro-shock therapy'. My speech was normal the next day, but I get a terrible headache whenever a thunderstorm comes through.


31. Just a pinch.

I slept wrong one night and pinched a nerve in my neck so severely I lost the right side of my body, it just went silent like it wasn’t there for months. I woke up in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced and couldn’t talk, move or do anything. The ER doctor thought I was having a stroke.

My doctor had never seen a case as severe as mine and it was purely a freak accident. Recovery took months but I have use of my leg and hand again, with some numbness. Other than pain and spasms I’m mostly back to normal.

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30. Say again?

I have completely unexplained hearing loss in my left ear. I had a cyst in it when I was 6, and the surgery to remove it and fix the ear was successful. When I was about 12, I woke up one morning with a killer headache and ear ringing, and after 3 days it went away and so did my hearing. Doctors did multiple examinations and an MRI and they said it should be totally functional, it just isn't. 1 in a million case.

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29. Skin deep.

I have a very rare skin disease, Hailey-Hailey disease, that only one in a million people get. I've been told that I'll probably never meet another person in my lifetime with it.

I was diagnosed by a team of dermatologists. They had to take a biopsy of one of my many outbreaks. A picture of that particularly horrible rash is currently in a medical journal, or so I've been told.

Yes, it is a very painful disease. Lots of blisters and skin rashes. I get steroid injections for it. I also get Botox injections to control sweating and prevent some of my outbreaks.

No, I don't know if you have this disease. You have to get a biopsy. It's inherited. My mother was a carrier, and I've been told my grandmother had the disease for more than half her life.

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28. Keyhole to the soul.

I have symmetric bilateral coloboma of the iris and retina! Essentially, my pupils are shaped like keyholes instead of circles. A single coloboma is pretty rare, double coloboma is even more rare, and double symmetrical... well, you get it.

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27. Get this man a lotto ticket.

I once guessed a 6 digit random combination on the first try. It was the only try I planned to give, as a kind of scratchpad whatever moment.


26. Two hits.

I was in 2 separate car crashes in 2 separate cars in less than 45 minutes apart.  I wasn't the driver for either crash.

First car was hit from the side. Friend came and picked us up, car lost traction and we slid off the road and hit a pole. Neither was that bad, just poor timing.


25. It adds up.

I was diagnosed with an extremely rare liver disease, Primary Hyperoxaluria. Some 300 people in the United States currently have it. Basically pass a lot of kidney stones and need a double transplant to fix.

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24. Better than Tinder.

I was on Tinder and was talking to this guy. He was supposed to meet me for dinner, I texted him and no answer. Then I texted him on Tinder. Said that he couldn’t make it . However, I got a text back from the wrong number I'd texted. It wasn’t the guy that I thought I texted. It was the actor Gerard Butler. I thought he was lying until he FaceTimed me. Nice guy.

No, I didn’t go on a date with him instead. He lives on the west coast and I live on the east coast. I didn’t keep his number because I respect his privacy. When he FaceTimed me he was super casual and asked me why I was using Tinder and he wished me luck on it.


23. Set free.

I had two 11cm benign tumours growing in my spine, resulting in gradual paralysis from my chest down. They had no idea how the tumours formed. Surgery took 11 hours when they thought it would take 4 because the tumours were so complexly woven throughout my spine. I now have pretty much half a spine and chronic pain but I’d take that over losing my life from paralysis and being unable to breathe.

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22. About to be the next big thing.

I have an unknown type of autosomal dominant centronuclear myopathy. My type of it is so rare that they haven't even seen it before. Getting diagnosed was a multi year struggle. They pretty much had to rule out everything else. It doesn't feel great to be in this club by myself. Countless blood draws, MRIs, cat scans and a biopsy and genetic test. So far, it looks like my father and I, are the only ones with it. Yay.

Interestingly, this probably isn't really rare. Just a type that hasn't really been seen in the population yet. Meaning there is certainly more people out there. Just not tested or diagnosed yet. In the future, I'll probably be 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000.

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21. Read the fine print.

Got a rare but potentially deadly rash from a medication. I laughed when I first saw the bottle with the warning, and said knowing my luck I’d get it.

I did. Ended up in a burn unit with my skin sloughing off. Not a fun week. And for those wondering what med? It was Lamictal/Lamotrigine.


20. The uncrushable.

No sure about the odds on this one, but I survived a “non-survivable” plane crash. I was on an old po-2 (famous for being very safe and uncrushable) on a tour of the desert in western China when I was like 7, my father’s friend who hosted me and piloted the plane didn’t survive but somehow I got out with a concussion and apparently passed out for almost a day in the middle of the dessert, in the wreckage of the crash, 50 km from the town/airport, on the edge of the desert. The people who found me were some tree planters (they plant greens in the desert to protect towns from sandstorm, a lot of people live in these desert towns in China do this) found me on there way picking up a shipment, and the only reason they looked was bc they were making a bet on how fast the egg would cook in the sand and went off the road to test.

So, according to my dad, the theory is that I might have lived was because the plane was mostly made out of fabrics and wood. So when the plane crashed, the front half collapsed and took the majority of the impact. Though I got knocked out, I was probably covered under the wreckage and in the shades, it cooled me off enough to survive for a day or so!

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19. That's just cold.

I am allergic to the cold. Like literally. I get intense hives, swelling, I pass out, and throw up. Doesn’t even have to be freezing. Below 45 degrees without a jacket and I can’t do it. I have to carry an epi pen with me in the event that I drink something too cold or have a severe reaction.

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18. Give him a hand.

I was born with 12 fingers. Identical extra digits on each hand.

I no longer have the fingers, my parents elected to have them removed shortly after birth. There was a video of when everyone found out, but my aunt has lost it over multiple moves.

The fingers were functional and would’ve behaved as if they were part of the intended ten. I have a scar on each pinky from where they were removed.

As an extra fun fact, my older sister had 2 extra toes that did not actually grow and show, they found this out in high school when she broke her foot and they went in for X rays and found that she has extra bones in her foot that just never grew out into the toes.

Apparently, the fingers would’ve worked and bent and functioned normally, they had bones, muscles tendons , blood vessels.

My hand is shaped completely normal. The fingers were like a double pack of Twix where they are side by side ||. The only thing that it would not have been able to do was move sideways very far as there was not a lot of webbing between original pinky and extra pinky.

This all comes from my dads side of the family. My dad as born with 2 extra teeth and my sister and I have different moms.

My parents decided to remove them to basically just save a child the hardship of being made fun of, which I fully understand. Kids can be cruel and I’m sure having 12 fingers is just ammo for them.

The fingers were removed by being tied off as others have mentioned from similar situations in the thread. And no I don’t have any proof other than the scars but they’re tiny, the bigger of the two just looks like a tiny mosquito bite on my left pinky. The right one looks the same but is not raised.

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17. Everything is awesome.

I own a Lego Minifigure called Mr. Gold. This particular minifig was to celebrate the 10th series of the Lego figurine line. They are sort of like grab bags, you can feel for them but you don't know what minifigure you're really going to get. So because they were celebrating they thought it was a good idea to only make 5,000 of these. Anyways, When I was younger and even now I was really good knowing which figures they are simply by looking at at the figures pieces and feeling out those pieces. I really like the mini figures cuz I thought they were really cool and unique so I really wanted Mr. Gold and me and my mom hunted for it for a long time but after a while I gave up. Then one day I was at the Lego store and felt the distinct diamond piece and freaked out. Finding this figure was a downright fantasy. I'm 18 now and still want to relive 12 year old me's pure joy as he opened the packaging.

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16. Let's play footsie.

The first one I don't know about the exact odds, but I was born on 7/7/77 and weighed 7 pounds & 7 ounces. Sadly though I clocked in at 6:50 A.M.

The other is that around the age of 14 I started to notice the outsides of both of my feet starting to get much wider. After a couple of years of buying expensive custom made shoes they decided to perform surgery on my feet. Turned out I had extra muscle growth along with something else I don't recall at the moment. My podiatrist told me he submitted a scholarly article on it. May also have been genetic as when my Dad was 3, he developed an extra toe growing out of each one of his big toes.

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15. Car woes.

When I was a teenager I had just started working at the local Sears auto center Express lube shop and on day one did a quick orientation and my first oil change. The manager walked away when he felt I was good to go and the oil change went well. Fast forward a few days later my manager asked me to come into his office and he explained that the oil filter I had used had one huge flaw. I didn't know what that was and it turned out the filter was pressed on backwards into the filter can and it wouldn't allow oil to flow in and it damaged the motor. They had to purchase a new motor for the person and I still kept my job. He said it was a 1 in a million chance that would have happened and it did on my first oil change.


14. Slim to none.

My mom once called her friend (back in the day on the lan line) and another lady answered, my mum asks if her friend was there and the lady says "Sure I'll get her", my mum's friend hops on the phone and asked how my mom knew she was there, turns out my mum got a number wrong when dialing, called a random house were someone was hosting a Tupperware party and my mum's friend just happened to be attending it!! What are the odds of that?

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13. The unlucky few.

When I was a kid, I was chilling in the water of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey. Suddenly I felt an awful burning sensation on my stomach and my legs. I looked like I had been brutally sandpapered and I got a 40°C (104°F) fever.

Turns out I made contact with a jellyfish, and later found out that it hadn't happened on that beach for 10 years or so. I was just extremely unlucky.


12. Unlikely to recover.

As a child, I had an extremely rare auto immune disease. On top of having an extremely rare illness, I developed the rarer and most dangerous of the symptoms. My kidneys started shutting down. Most kids recover from this disease, but not always the ones with kidney issues.

I was extremely lucky. I did not have to go on dialysis, and my kidneys eventually reached normal functioning levels. It took a decade to be completely cleared of the disease.

My mother likes to call me a miracle child not only because of this, but because she was not supposed to be able to have a kid due to health issues, and had several miscarriages before my stubborn butt decided to be born.

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11. Smarter than a million bucks.

When I graduated high school I was offered a full ride scholarship, entirely based on academic merit, to study the program I loved more than anything at the school I'd dreamed of going to for years. The school in question was notorious for giving very few scholarships and the particular scholarship I won is awarded to very few students each year.

I'm still pinching myself sometimes.



10. High stakes escape.

I was kidnapped when leaving work and held for 18 months, along with two other girls. The guy who took us claimed himself to be an ineffable lower god, and used cult tactics, manipulation and control to have us be his family. I was allowed to leave to the grocery store as an errand, but knew if I didn’t come back the others would receive my punishment. I finally got away by stabbing my captor when I believed he was going to kill me.


9. Even the doctors have no answers.

I am a 19 year old male. In August of last year, I was driving with my sister, when suddenly her face turned cold. “Gavin your eyes are yellow”, I remember her saying. I quickly pulled down the passengers mirror, and to my horror, two yellow eyes radiated back at me.

Fast forward, I spent a month being sick, the initial diagnosis was Hepatitis A.

Went back to the doctor, nothing was better(things were worse in fact). Was sent to the ER, then to the liver transplant unit at UCSF. By this point my eyes had turned muddy orange, and my pee was the color of... a mahogany tree.

Anyways, the team of liver doctors at UCSF managed to save my liver. I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. Oh, and my eyes are white again.

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8. This is really rare.

Bought three dollars worth of pong balls at one of those games at the state fair. I think it was 10 balls, and the grand prize is in the middle and you have to land it in a small glass container. I was having fun and just decided to throw it by flicking my wrist in a weird way. It bounced around for awhile and landed right in the red glass container, which was the grand prize. Even the worker was surprised that I got it! Had to walk around the state fair with a giant Charmander plush toy after that.

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7. Born lucky.

I was born 1lb and 6 ounces in 1998 doctors said I had like a 15% of surviving or something like that. They also said that if I did survive I would have been a vegetable. So months pass (funny thing was I came out of the hospital on the day I was due came out in February left the hospital in June) while I am still forming as a baby and it’s 20 years later and I’m alive and healthy. I can walk, talk and all the normal things. I guess that’s 1 in 1 million.

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6. Ask for a parlay.

When I was 14 years old, I woke up one day with heavy stomach cramps. We called the hospital and they told us that I probably have a stomach flu and should go to the doctor next morning. After one of the worst nights ever, vomiting and sleeping next to the toilet we went to the doctor. I had a fever of 40 °C and was aching a lot. The doctor told me I had to to go to ER and have it checked out because she thought my appendix was inflamed and causing the pain.

We went to the ER and I stayed in the hospital for about 2 weeks, but they couldn't find anything. They treated me with broad range antibiotics and after 2 weeks I was feeling a bit better and they told me to go home and recover. The night I got back from the hospital I went to bed and started hallucinating that I lived in a retirement home and that pirates were coming to steal our food. So I was flailing around trying to fend of pirates when my mother came in and asked what all the fuss was about. I told her what was going on and she looked at me like I had summoned a devil. She took my temperature and she instantly took me to the ER again (I had a 41°C fever).

When we went back to the hospital I got treated immediately for inflammation and they did a wide range of test again. They saw that something in my body was inflamed but they couldn't find it. I stayed in the hospital for about 2 more weeks when they finally found what was going on. My appendix was inflamed and burst the night I was having the hallucinations but on all the scans they couldn't see my appendix. The doctor told me that if I came in 2 days later I would have died because of the puss flowing in my body. Apparently there is a 1% chance of all the appendix cases that the appendix is so stretched out that they couldn't see it on the scans or that the area was so inflamed they didn't see it.

So after staying on antibiotics for about 2 more weeks they finally removed my appendix and all the pain was gone. I stayed in the hospital for over 4 weeks just because of my appendix and my bad luck on being that 1%.

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5. No hope of survival.

I lived in Florida for the first 18 years of my life and spent most of my free time outdoors, fishing, camping, what have you. The summer before my junior year of high school I found myself out hiking nearby by my home with a buddy. We were stomping around in some clay deposits inside of a little ravine (even minimal geographic relief is dramatic in a place as flat as the gulf coast) when it started to Florida rain (for those of you who can’t relate, imagine a torrential downpour). Our minds immediately jumped to the exciting possibility of a flash flood raging through the crevasses we were exploring. In an effort to make our day more exciting and not take any chances, we began to climb vertically out of the canyons versus take the lengthy path out of it horizontally. We got to the top, put our feet on the ground, and did pull up. As I stood up I felt the ground underneath me squirm. I had stepped on a snake.

I screamed and kicked the snake that was latched onto my foot off me by reflex. As an Eagle Scout, I immediately recognized the red on yellow pattern as the snake slithered away and knew it was a coral snake.

We rushed home, drove to the hospital, and was seen. The doctors informed my parents the nearest antivenin was a 3 hour helicopter ride away. The first symptom, lung failure, would occur after 2 hours. My parents called my friends and family and we all spent time together without me knowing my fate. My friends and family arrived and subsequently left together. My parents turned off the lights and we prayed together. Around 2 hours after being bitten, a nurse came in to our dark room with gurney to collect my dead body. I asked the nurse “has there been any developments?” to her surprise. The doctors came in, shocked I was alive, told me it was a dry bite, and that I should remain in whatever religion I practiced.

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4. A match made all over.

How I met my wife is a romantic, and unlikely, tale.

I’m from the Netherlands, she is from the US. We met in Israel.

It was my first weekend in Israel, decided to go on a pub crawl to meet some people and have fun, as I’m buying the ticket my now wife walks up to the counter to also buy a ticket. The girl working there introduces us, we hit it off the first night but I’m leaving in 2 days to stay with friends of friends in the middle of the desert for 3 months.

2 days after I leave I lose my phone, don’t have any way to get back in touch with her. I had little money and could stay/work with the people in the desert. But I kept thinking about her so after a week I say I’m leaving. Take the next bus (goes 3 times a week, at 5am) and then a train to Tel Aviv. I had no idea how to find her, where to stay and very little money.

I email a couple hostels to find a work/stay agreement, those jobs are very popular and usually planned months in advance. I get an email back when I arrive in Tel Aviv, I can come in for an interview because they have a spot (this is already ridiculously lucky).

Right after the interview and dropping of my belongings. I went back to the first hostel to see if they would give me information, they wouldn’t give me anything.

Now I’m at a loss, Tel Aviv is a city of more than half a million people, I don’t know anyone and have little more than the clothes on my back.

Kind of defeated I start wandering around/exploring the city. After a couple hours I get hungry and decide to treat myself to a restaurant. I’m well out of the tourist area and find a place that’s almost empty and rather cheap. I sit down, order a drink and something to eat. As I get my food I see my now wife walking past the restaurant, she sees me I see her. I’m literally dumb struck and just kind of grin and wave (remember how I lost my phone? She didn’t know that and just thought I ignored her) she waves and keeps walking. I throw like 200 shekels (way too much) in the table and sprint after her, explained and the rest is history.

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3. It still stings.

I was so freakishly allergic to ant and bee venom as a child that a single sting from a single little common black ant put me into anaphalactic shock. When my allergist was preparing to start immunotherapy for me, he found that the in-office lab equipment wasn't sensitive enough to measure the infinitesimally small amount of allergen with which to start my titration, so he had to send a sample of my blood to Johns Hopkins so that their lab could determine how much to give me. I did immunotherapy for several years to reach an immune response level at which it would be safe for me to basically exist in a nonfrozen climate.

Good news, though: I'm good now. I've had a few run-ins with ants and wasps since my immunotherapy and my body didn't freak out and shut down, and research indicates that if it hasn't done that after this long, I'm probably safe for...maybe forever? I don't have Epi-Pens and I'm not overly afraid of ants or bees.

I live in Florida. I am not outdoorsy but stinging things are everywhere. It is, in fact, the Australia of North America. No, my parents would not move me to the frozen tundra to be a nomadic reindeer herder at my behest.

Little black ants do, in fact, sting. Several Lasius subspecies have stingers and venom.

When an ant bites you, that's using their mandibles and does not deliver venom. When an ant stings you, that's using their butt needle and delivers the pain juice. Most ants do one or the other. Fire ants do both at the same time.

I did some research a while back and found an academic paper that indicated that if I haven't had a reaction after this many years, the likelihood that I ever would again is vanishingly rare.

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2. Like living in a cartoon.

I was actually homeless for 4 years between 19-23 years old, until I ended up on TV.

As silly as it sounds I used to earn some extra money at the time by helping around as a referee in a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament. It was my biggest hobby when I was younger and was something I felt confident about, I also didn't have a passport or a bank account so I couldn't get a normal job (UK).

In the UK you need a government picture I.D. and a national insurance number (like social security number) in order to prove you're allowed to work in the UK. I have migraines that cause me to go part or near completely blind so can't drive due to the risk. So don't have access to a drivers license as I.D. leaving me only with a passport as option, and I didn't have one, hence no job.

Anyway so at the time I was stuck not earning enough money, without a passport a bank account, or a real job. (In the UK you won't get hired by 99% of companies if you don't have a passport to prove you have the right to work)

So one day I got a phone call from a studio asking if I played Yu-Gi-Oh, and would consider myself a geek, also if I wanted to be in a TV show. They said they would send me to another country as part of it. The TV show was looking for geeks with different hobbies and they found out about Yu-Gi-Oh. After, assume a Google search, they found the person who run my local tournament to recommend different players and people, and she recommended me.

Being homeless the biggest problems is being bored so naturally I said yes, but told them I don't have a passport. "No problem, we'll get you one straight away and pay for it ourselves."

I ended up on a show called Geeks that you can still watch on Channel 4 OD.

Because I got this passport I was finally able to get a job, a bank account, and finally a house. Now I'm looking after my 10 month old daughter who's playing while I type this.

So Yu-Gi-Oh save me from being homeless. I might be an anime character.

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1. Half a dozen in one million.

I have multiple personalities.

In gist, it was caused by severe childhood trauma(who's surprised) and I remember it was the first day of 4th grade. I just didn't feel like I belonged there. I felt...older I guess you could say. The people around me were unfamiliar, I knew myself to be an adult, not a child in a classroom, and when people called me my real name I found myself to be extremely insulted.

I got older and chalked it up to me just becoming mature earlier on because of my childhood. Then I started blacking out(not passing out but no recollection of doing things). I'm 19 now and I can't remember much of my childhood past about about 3rd or 4th grade, if any of it.

Severe memory loss. Forgotten conversations, plans, purchases, not understanding how I got to where I was. I started dating this girl(she was borderline psychotic, and had a split personality) and I couldn't remember speaking to her. Like I would miss full conversations, intimate settings and whatnot. Her bother pointed out to me that I may have something called D.I.D as he had been witness to one of the times my alter tool over. Didn't look into it. (I had about three steady alters I kind of knew about, but again I chalked that up to my own thoughts being wild)

Fast forward a year and now I'm legit hearing voices. Voices with emotions, voices who saw the world differently than I did. I'd feel detached, taller than my actual height, my vision got better randomly(I wear Bifocals), my accent changed, my voice got deeper, handwriting changed, my pronouns changed, my fashion sense, just so much stuff. Started to go to therapy after the girl and I broke up because she screwed me up pretty bad and my trauma that I ignored for so long started coming up again.

Memories of therapy sessions were not in my mind. I'd be scared I missed appointments only to find out that I did in fact go. My former therapist pointed out to me that in one of my therapy sessions (One that I wasn't present for, mentally) I only spoke in third person and only referred to myself as we. And then my former alters decided to show themselves to me. Let's just call them L, R, J, and V. All of them were male. And I'm a female. I was shook.

Got diagnosed (a lot of mental preparations for being slandered and to some degree I was by those who knew) and have been living with my current alter, caling her J as well, for about 3 months now.

It probably makes some a bit skeptical (I still doubt myself to this day) but I remember a few weeks back, I got a really bad migraine. Puke, crying, you name it. I asked J if she'd "switch" with me to see what would happen. Migraine was gone almost instantly. The feeling of being sick, the fever, any pain my body felt just disappeared. We switched back and everything came rushing back in. It was mind blowing to have that happen like that.

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