Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Aussie outback petrol station

I was working at an Aussie roadhouse (petrol station, cafe, shop,camping ground) on the west coast of Australia when I went backpacking in 2001. I served an English couple who had midlands accents so asked them where they were from as I'm from Birmingham. It turned out after chatting that I went to school with the girl's brother and we had been in all the same classes for 5 years of high school. The place was in the middle of nowhere, about 100 miles from the nearest town. It definitely brightened my day as the woman who I worked for was mental!!

Self-Texting iphone

I was taking a walk with my phone in my pocket. I heard the swooshing sound it makes when I receive a text and pulled the phone out of my pocket. I had a text from my housekeeper that said, "In the garage." I looked at the last text I sent to her. It was minutes earlier and read, "Moop". I did not type or send this text. The phone did it as I was walking.

A number easy to remember.

Where I live and have lived since 1973, the postcode was 20-16. Later it was revised to 5 digits and that came to be 56000. I got a shock. That was my employee number at IBM which was my first and last job. I am retired now. And for the past years, it was the last 5-digits of my American Express Card.

19th. Sept

My ex- husband was born on 19th. Sept and we married on Sept 19th.:-)...Which made me pay attention to your item on Radio 4 " more or less" today. I just published my cold war memoir, State Property, and its full of coincidences , much to my amazement! My life bits any fiction indeed! I have also noticed a pattern over three consecutive generations in my family. Could it be that we inherit genetically a type of destiny? I am fascinated by your study and would love to help.

Meant to be?

Before my wife and I were to be married, we went on our "grand tour" of Europe. It was the autumn of 2002. We went for six weeks. We loved the U.K. and Ireland so much we didn't make it to the continent until week four. The first stop when we went to France was Bayeux and the D-Day beaches in Normandy. Being Americans, whose grandfathers and great uncles fought to make Europe free, we of course needed to see the beaches and cemetaries of those lost. So, we decided to take a guided tour of the area in a large van.

amazing and unexpected

I went to the old chip shop in Edinburgh and ordered a smoked sausage as I did as a student. As I ate it at the stand-up counter, get this - at the very next place next to mine - you won't believe this, there was a guy eating a smoked sausage! Deja-vu and coincidence and improbability theory rolled into one.

Meeting housemate in foreign country

While at university, on impulse I took a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. One day walking through a market, I heard my name being called and turned to see my housemate from University who had also took a trip to St. Petersburg. Neither of us knew the other was going there, and we met in a random market. The funny thing was that as soon as I heard my name, I thought, "Oh, that'll be Ed, I thought there was a good chance I'd bump into him". Weird.

Small World

My sister emigrated to Perth, Australia, from Aberdeen, Scotland, where I was a college instructor. After they'd been there for about a year, I flew with my mum to visit her and her family. A few hours after arrival at their house in Joondalup, I headed out with my sister's partner for a drink in a trendy suburb nearby. Ordering our drinks, it turned out the young barman knew me. He'd been a student of mine back in Aberdeen. Small world!

Nigerian connectio

My husband & I were in Ireland 2 weeks ago and went to visit his seriously ill cousin who had been transferred from Limerick Hsp to the Mater Hsp in Dublin. When we arrived at the ward we were told he had gone for a an MRI scan and therefore couldn't see him. Walking towards us was smiling Nigerian woman in some sort of nurse uniform, who approached me saying 'Margaret's sister'? It turned out she was Mitchelle one of my late sister Margaret's home carers. Margaret died nearly 2 years ago and Mitchelle was the last person to see her at home before she died.


The neighbors opposite put a new large plaster nameplate on the front of their house on Sunday. It had the new name of their house and the date 1887. On Tuesday a pigeon landed in my garden and made himself at home, even came into the house a couple of times. On his wristband the number 7881...