Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

fouling out

I have always been a sports nut. So it is no surprise that I had a nutty coincidence 60 years ago that involved basketball. My high school basketball team was terrific--Weaver won the Connecticut State championship three times in the four years I was there, and the New England Championship my senior year. The star of the team was Johnny Egan, who went on to play 10 seasons in the NBA. I would go to each game, and I always kept score in a little notebook I carried around. In one particular game, Egan had gotten off to a slow start--making only 2 of his first 7 shots.

Finding Justin

It’s not at all unusual for people to meet in the most unlikely places, and through unlikely series’ of events….but what is often most fascinating, is that it seems sometimes these meetings are preceded by some form of premonition that they will happen. Although this next coincidence isn’t a premonition as such, it certainly feels that way….. It was a few years back, and I realised that since the advent of computers, it’s pretty easy to find a lot of people these days, and one old friend of mine, I was particularly sad to have lost touch with for over twenty years. I searched the inte

Coincidental phone numbers

I lived in St Albans, my phone number was 01727 419673 My friend James’ parents’ number in Salisbury was remarkably similar: 01722 419 678 Not such a weird coincidence, except that years later, having lost touch with James, it was because I remembered that connective number, I was able to contact him again. (I've changed the actual numbers, but the pattern is identical.)

Green Lights All the Way…

Whilst living in St Albans for 2 years, I mostly walked everywhere. For the whole time I was there, every time I reached a crossing (and there are many), the green man lit up. I mean, every single time……it was quite eerie, and I don’t deny that at times, once I was conscious of the phenomenon, I’d probably pace myself to arrive at the crossings just so….but nonetheless, it was quite extraordinary. Whether I was alone, or with friends, (when I couldn’t dictate the pace), the green man lit up on cue…..

Casino Conundrums

I’m not a big gambler, but I have had some remarkable luck (both good and bad) in the few casinos I’ve been in: Istanbul, circa 1993. I’d won a nice wad playing Blackjack, a total of \$875. Upon counting the money, I realised this was exactly the amount I’d win if I placed a \$25 bet on a single number in roulette (at 35/1)….so, my logic went like this: play roulette, and keep betting on the same single number.

Supermarket sensations

I’d started working as a kids’ entertainer, roughly 3 years after leaving my last cruise ship contract. In my local Waitrose, I met a girl, Vicky, a beauty therapist who I’d known very well on my last ship. What made this coincidence stand out, was not the chance meeting. I palpably felt the presence of someone familiar, and turned around to find her standing with her back to me. So convinced was I that I knew her, I took the trouble to look at Vicky’s face. Otherwise, we would have walked right past each other, looking in opposite directions.

Kenny the Copier Man

On my first day working at a photocopier wholesaler in St Albans, one of the engineers, named Kenny, offered me a lift home. It was only a five-minute drive, during which time we started talking about travelling. We’d both been to Australia several years previously. It turned out, it was at the same time.

Ron Biederman's Trousers

Of all the bizzare coincidences I've experienced, this is my personal favourite: I was working as a singing gondolier in Miami, and managed to get all my possessions stolen on a Greyhound bus trip.

Out of this world

Seeing a Uni lab mate from Birmingham leave the shore in Viet Nam. On the same round the world trip, meeting a Brit in New Zealand who turned out to have gone to the same woodwork class as the other person I traveled with 8 years earlier. </p> <p>Then bumping into John in a hostel in San Diego when my card stopped working and managed to blag a discount because I could share his dorm key. </p> <p>On this trip I left South East Asia 11 days before the Tsunami and I left New Orleans 12 weeks before Hurricane Katrina.

Tony Takes his Trousers Down!

I was the wedding photographer at my old schoolfriend's sister's wedding. It was a small affair in a remote Hampshire church. My girlfriend at the time came with me to help, and couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the groom - an old friend of hers from Kent university (I don't know why he was known as "Tony Takes His Trousers Down", lol).