Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

chance meeting

My wife and myself were going on holiday to Bournemouth and decided to randomly take a trip into London to see some relatives. Our best friends at the time were going to Scotland for a short break. We decided to take a sightseeing trip and take in the tower of London. On our way into the tower who should be walking the other way but our best friends whose Scotland trip got cancelled so they decided to visit London instead. This was well before mobile phones and was a pure chance meeting. What are the odds on that.

Long lost relatives

When my Dad died in 1981, I was 11 and after a couple of years the family was pretty much split in 2. Apart from my paternal grandparents, no-one else really kept in touch. In the late 90s, Mum and I tried to track down 2 cousins (and their daughters) of my dad who used to live in Hampshire but they had moved. A dead end appeared to have been reached. In 2004, I went to see Duran Duran at Wembley Arena. My (then) friend and I got there to settle into our seats before it all began.

Same security codes

My grandson and I have both chosen exactly the same 4 numbers as our security codes. When we found out we just could not believe it!!

T'was meant to be!

I was on a night out with my friend and she bumped into her boyfriend. After a while they started arguing and she decided to leave and go home. Not wanting to hang up my dancing shoes just then and annoyed that she had gone home, i decided to go to the next bar and meet up with a few girls we were due to meet later that night. On my way there I caught a glimpse of one of the girls i was meeting in the window of the pub next door. Wondering why they were already out and hadnt told me, i stormed into the bar to approach them.

Pizza delivery

In 1993 I was a Staff Sergeant in the British Army, based in Herford and living in Detmold. Quite late one evening after a long day at work, I told my wife that what I most wanted to eat was a salami pizza. She wasn't particularly pleased as she was in the middle of preparing a late dinner, and anyway the normal pizza taxi places would be closed. About ten minutes later the doorbell rang and when I answered it there was pizza delivery woman asking if knew where number 114 was. We lived at number 112 which was the last house on the street.

Strange audition coincidence abroad.

When I was at college in London in 1989, I won a scholarship to study classical music, on the proviso that I studied abroad. My college Principal suggested that I go to study at a prestigious music conservatoire in Austria, because he'd studied clarinet there 30 years earlier and had enjoyed it very much. He said that he'd sort out all the paperwork and a place at the affiliated student hostel. He was adamant that for entry to the conservatoire I wouldn't need any sort of audition, I could just turn up on the first day of term.


In Nov 2004, I went to a garage to buy a new car. There were 2 left. I was given the choice of blue or silver - blue was DGX, silver was DGY. I got the blue. In Dec 2011, i sold something on ebay to a lady in Liverpool. She asked me to deliver it to her mother in law in the next town to me, which I did - only to find the silver car I'd not chosen all those years agoi sitting on her driveway. She'd also bought it from new. Oh yes, we both have only had one problem with said cars - squeaky brakes......

She said she lived in Africa, I replied that I know someone who also lives in Africa

In the mid 80s, while on a flight to London I started a conversation with the woman beside me. When she mentioned she lived in Africa, I told her I knew someone who at that time lived in Africa but I said "you probably don't know him". It was evident she thought I made a ridiculous remark but having experienced a number of odd number of coincidences in my life it wasn't as ridiculous as she imagined. Seeing her reaction, I said "Oh you probably don't know him, he lives in Ghana". "Oh" she replied, "I live in Ghana".

Chance meeting on holiday - twice !

We went to visit Polperro on a day trip from our holiday cottage in Foy. On walking down to the harbour we heard a familiar voice. It was Steve who introduced us as partners over 30 years ago. He had all his family with him and we had a good chat at the pub. We then went off for a coastal walk and stopped in a small bay for coffee on the return journey and met them again. One week prior to this I had met steve at a cricket match. He had just come back off holiday and had no idea he was going on a surprise holiday arranged by his daughter in Polperro.

Mr. Joe H

I live in a city centre side-street where there are many blocks of apartments but very little road traffic. For some years I had a job which required me to leave home at around 07.30. I would walk the short distance down my street to an intersecting street in order to reach my car. Often there would be just one other person (not the same one each time) walking along the intersecting street and we were on a collision course unless one or the other of us changed pace. This happened so many times that I began to anticipate it.