Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Photo coincidence

Some years ago, me,my family of four children and my husband travelled to Florida and stayed in a villa near Disney World. We picked up our hire van at Sandford Airport and spent the next two weeks visiting the sights. Just before we left, my son found a disposable camera under one of the seats in the van. It didn't belong to us and my son decided to take it apart to find out how it worked. I put the film in my bag and forgot all about it. Two or three years later, I found several undeveloped films lying in a cupboard.

Top of the Empire State Building

Our family travelled to New York just before Christmas. We travelled by taxi from Nottingham to Heathrow airport and we were very early so we went for a coffee. We saw our son's ex-headmaster Mr X across the coffee shop, but he did not see us and we were too far away to speak. We had not seen or spoken to him or heard about him for 4 years since our son left school, which was in a different town. We spent our holiday sightseeing in Central Park, Brooklyn, Harlem and the stores. On the 4th day my husband, younger son and I decided to go to the Empire State Building.

Coincidence of names

In 2000, I moved 160 miles from my home town and now work in a larger town where a woman working in the Post Office has the same name as mine. This may not sound unusual but our name is 'Moira' which is fairly unusual. On visiting the Post Office one day, to post a package to my daughter, the Post Office Moira noticed that my daughter lives in Ascot - which is where her daughter also lives. Within a few sentences, we discovered that our daughters are both named Sarah Louise, both are 40 years of age within a few months of each other - and both are married to Jonathans.

Birthdays in June

My birthday is 17th June; my father's birthday is 14th June; my eldest daughter was born on 18th June; my youngest daughter was born on 14th June; my husband was born on 15th June; and my nephew was born on 16th June (in Australia!). What are the chances?

(Not so)Imaginary friend

About 5 years ago my daughter who was then two had (like many children) an imaginary friend called 'Cully'. We double-checked the name as neither my wife nor I had come across it before and certainly knew no one of that name and could not think where our daughter (Lydia) had found it.

Meeting while Driving

My brother was driving from Idaho to Portland Oregon (350miles, 6.5 hrs) on the same day I was going to be driving from Roseburg Oregon to Idaho (540 miles , 9 hrs-to our parent's place). The day before I jokingly quipped "Meet you at Starbuck's", roughly at the halfway point for him. We did not mention when we would be leaving our respective places and had no real intention of meeting. I ended up making some odd choices of where to get gas, etc. from where I would normally stop.

Travelled miles away, found a local author.

We used to live in Hythe, Kent, on the site of a one time small arms training school. The site closed in the 1960's & was redeveloped. My wife's parents lived in Nova Scotia, Canada. We went out there for a visit in the early 1990's. On our first outing we visited a tourist attraction, I spotted a bookstall & went to have a look. The very first book that I picked up was entitled Hangman's Beach. That looks like it might be a good read, I thought. Turned it over to look at the back for plot/author info, to read that the author was born in Hythe, Kent.


My whole life has been determined by significant coincidences ( I like to think that it is some kind of energy convergence). Each significant coincidence is always preceded by a significant event either in my personal or business life. I am open minded about all this stuff but do look out for these things now whenever I am involved in decisions. It almost sounds as though I am superstitious but I am not. Things just happen.


Many years ago I was going to my Divorce hearing in Birmingham with my friend.Neither of us had any idea where the court was where the hearing was taking place. As we stepped off the train we saw this gentleman and asked him if he knew. he gave us directions and went on his own way. Imagine my surprise, when in court later, the Judge was the same gentleman that had directed us.

Wedding Cheat

My friend's ex partner Neil had got back in touch with her and they re-started their relationship albeit secretly as he was still living with the woman he had left my friend for. He was supposed to be marrying this new woman. I never trusted him and did not think for a moment he would leave his new girlfriend for my friend..he was just stringing her along. My friend was convinced his intentions were good. One Friday she phoned to say the two of them had booked a hotel for that night and that he was set to leave his girlfriend and return home.