Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

'telepathic' outburst

When I was a teenager and still living at home, I was watching the start of some kind of quiz show. The host was just about to introduce this male contestant when I had the urge to call out a name. So I said to my parents something like, "Brian Watson", just as the show's host said, "This evening ladies and gentleman we have with us Brian Watson..." I know I surprised myself, not to mention my parents, but we never discussed the amazing coincidence.

270,000 to one......

One day I was sitting at my dining room table trying to finish The Daily Telegraph Cryptic Crossword. My daughter and her partner were in the room. I needed to find a 6-letter word H-D--- and I reached for my Chambers Crossword Completer which contains over 270,000 words. I had almost found the H-D--- section when my daughter gave a loud, unexpected hiccup. I called her to the table with the words 'Look, I am not moving my finger. Come and see this'. You have guessed it of course. My finger was on the word Hiccup.

Relative round the corner

I was adopted as a 6 week old baby and grew up happily in a small town with my adoptive parents. I knew nothing of my "real" background and, as a child, really wasn't all that interested. At 18, I secured a place at Edinburgh University to study Biology . I suppose that approaching adult gave me more motivaion to find out a bit more about my birth mother so, in my third year, I made my way to Register House and obtained a copy of my full birth certificate which listed my mother's name and address at that time which was a tiny village on the far west coast of Scotland.

Same rare auto-immune disease

I shared a flat with my brother's friend in 1992 and we then relocated, each to a different part of London and lost touch with each other. In 2001 I became friends with my partner at the times girlfriend who turned out to be the first cousin of my former flatmate's girlfriend. In 2006 I was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease which affects one in a hundred thousand people, Dermatomyosistis, 3 years down the line he becomes ill with Polymyosistis. The only difference being the reactions in the skin that I get.

Livingstone I presume!

In my mid twenties I took a break between jobs to spend a month with friends of my family who were living in Zimbabwe. During my stay I set out on my own for Victoria Falls. After a couple of days there, and an overnight trip on the Zambezi, I'd got to know a few international backpackers. But I was still very surprised to hear someone calling my name on the main street in Vic Falls. So much so, I chose to ignore the woman's voice. When I'd heard my name called several times I turned to see a really good friend, whom I'd known from Infants School to Sixth Form.


I had never met anyone with the same birthday as myself until about twelve years ago when I was involved with a group of people who were trying to save a local landmark building (Hill Paul in Stroud, Gloucestershire) from demolition. On the Committee of the Hill Paul Regeneration Group, in order to set up a bank account or something official, we had to give our dates of birth and the chairman asked why I had given his birth date as mine! After all these years (I was in my 50s at the time) I had found a twin! Not only the same birthday but the same year, 29th January 1944!

A tangled web.

My ex wife had a habit of writing down poems and song lyrics on odd bits of paper. Some years after we parted, it must have been the early nineties as I got rid of the television around that time. The television was on and I think Blue Peter was showing whilst I waited for the evening news. I decided to clear out a cupboard and I came a cross a folded piece of green paper with some writing in her hand. I unfolded the paper and started reading what she had written: "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!" At that exact moment the same words were spo

Jane S

I am 76 years old and have lived in this area all my life. Last summer a young couple (25-30ish) moved in next door to me (a 100 year old farm cottage). On getting to know them we discovered that he had been brought up in the street adjoining the street I was brought up in, and most probably played in my mother's garden when he was small as she was a magnet to the local children, and she always had helpers. Opposite my mother's house lived another couple with young children, a boy and a girl, with whom I am still good friends. He was best man at my closest friend's wedding.

Visiting "Juliet's Balcony" in Verona at same time as an ex!!!!!

Travelling around Venice, Verona etc about four years ago with my daughter I found out a few days after returning that my ex had visited the same place about an hour later!.....what are the chances?

concert coincidences

In December I went to see the show Jersey Boys while I was in Las Vegas. This show is the story of Franki Valli and the Four Season. I come from England and could have seen the show at any time over the years it has been running in London. The next day I received an email from the Albert Hall to say that Franki Valli was appearing at the Albert Hall in 2012. The first time he had appeared in the UK for 18 years.