Christopher Kempf, the statistical analyst of the PDC, looks at the surprising rarity of long streaks of perfect darts.
Because professional darts players regularly hit 40% and even 50% of their targets on the dartboard, it can seem bewildering that the probability of stringing together more than a dozen perfect darts is essentially zero.
Over 2.1 million darts have been thrown in the past two-and-a-half years of Players Championship events (as recorded by DartConnect - amounting to the largest and most comprehensive sample of professional darts matches), but no player has even approached the generally regarded record for consecutive perfect darts in a match (19), thrown on television at the 2013 World Championship and again at the 2016 UK Open by Michael van Gerwen.
However, there are a few significant streaks from the Players Championship circuit worthy of recognition, especially as it makes one wonder what the pros had achieved on the floor before records began to be kept of their scores.
Mark McGeeney, only three months into his debut year on the PDC ProTour, completed a leg on double 20 in the ninth Players Championship of 2019, then scored a nine-darter in the seventh leg of his match with Adam Hunt. A 180 followed, then a score of 81; concluding a run of either 13 or 14 perfect darts.
Adam Hunt was on the receiving end of another barrage of perfect darts in the 28th Players Championship of 2019, this time from Mensur Suljovic, who threw as many as 15 consecutive darts and completed a nine-darter along the way to a 6-3 win.
After a nine-darter in the seventh leg, Suljovic continued with a third 180 to start the 8th, then a 140; when added to the leg-winning double in the sixth leg, that amounts to a string of 13, 14 or 15 perfect darts depending on which two darts of the 140 hit the treble 20.
In an otherwise unremarkable match (combined average of 91) from the 26th Players Championship of 2019, Ryan Meikle struck at least 14 - possibly 15 - targets in a row, doing so without completing a nine-darter.
This streak began with two maxima in the fourth leg, a two-dart 61 checkout, then concluded with two more 180s.
With only a handful of recorded instances from the past decade of a player throwing four maxima in two consecutive legs, Meikle's feat is in fact even rarer - if less gratifying - than the perfect leg.
Out of 60 Players Championship events, there is only one confirmed instance of 15 perfect darts being thrown in a match, courtesy of Gerwyn Price at the final Players Championship event of 2019.
What's more, Price began the match with a nine-dart leg and continued to throw perfect darts in the second leg, which must have left his opponent Jonathan Worsley wondering what he could possibly do to win the match.
But after teeing up 144 for a second consecutive perfect leg, within sight of a feat never before achieved in the history of darts, Price scored 92, probably hitting single 20 with his first dart of the third visit.
It's possible that Price began with a score of 54 for a 16th consecutive perfect throw, but it would have been uncharacteristic of the double Grand Slam champion.
Alas, none of these matches occurred on a streamed board - the particulars of each purple patch exist only in the memory of those who were there to witness them.
But even with the best players in the world posting higher and higher averages in the floor events, no one has approached the TV magic of Van Gerwen's 19-dart streaks (or thrown a 170, as the Dutchman did against Rob Cross!).
The estimated statistical probability of a record-breaking streak bears that out; given the average treble accuracy of PDC stage event players, we would expect to see one such streak for every 38 million darts thrown, or after 42 years' worth of Players Championship events.
One of the most tantalizing aspects of darts is the fact that throwing a dart into a treble is an utterly mundane act in the professional game, but doing so only 15 times in a row - which could take as little as two minutes of time - is a statistical near-impossibility.
When players build a streak of 15, 16, 17 perfect darts - as they occasionally do - it's like seeing a comet or an eclipse.
There's nothing supernatural or inexplicable or even complicated about it; statistics can predict with some accuracy when you'll see it again. But in the moment it still catches you unawares and teks your breath away.