Question about the LHC and virtual particles...

This question has nothing to do with the end of the world, thank God!:stuck_out_tongue:
My question is about virtual particles. Apparently space is not really empty. Virtual particles and anti-particles are constantly popping into existence and wiping each other out almost instantly. In fact, this is how hawking radiation is thought to occur.
Correct me if Iā€™m wrong on any of the above.
So if this is going on in space, it must be going on inside the vacuum of the LHC. So what then are the chances of a speeding proton colliding with a virtual particle before it reaches the intended target at the detector?
Has this ever happened before?

100%. The constant interaction with the background of virtual particles is part of what makes a (real) particle what it is, and this interaction is taken into account in the mathematics that describes the motion of the proton. A proton may turn into any of a number of odd combinations of virtual particles, but since the proton is stable, that combination of virtual particles must, in short order, turn back into a proton, so there are no direct observable effects of the existence of the virtual particles. For a particle which is unstable, the collection of virtual particles might turn into something other than the original particle, and this is in fact how most particle decays proceed.