Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Birthdays on the 14th

Multiple members of our family were born on 14th of the month. Anthony 14.6.31(grandad); Sheila 14.5.35 (nana); Jennifer 14.1.60 (daughter); Isobel 14.6.04 (granddaughter); Alex & Henry 14.3.05 (grandchildren). What are the chances?


On Monday 9th January 2012 we went to see The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre. The play is about 2 sets of twins, one set the servants of the other set, who are separated soon after birth. 30 years later one master and servant arrive at the town where the other master and servant now live, and there is a long series of mistakes until they eventually meet. In this modern dress production the servant twins are dressed in identical replica Arsenal shirts.

Same name, age and address

I live in a house comprising two flats. A notice to collect a parcel from the post office arrived. I went to the post office to collect the parcle with my ID. Upon opening the parcel I discovered it was business cards for a DJ with my name (Michael Grant). I took the parcel home and knocked on the other flat's door. The parcel was for my neighbour who is also called Michael Grant. His middle name is John and mine is James. He is also 28 years old. So it turns out that 2 men that don't know each other are both called Michael J. Grant, both 28 years old and have the same address.

Chance meeting

My (late) wife and I live in the UK but own a holiday property in Spain. In 1995 we were on a holiday in Australia and were spending a few days in Brisbane. We took a trip around the harbour on a boat which stopped at various quays and passengers were at liberty to get on and off as they chose as many times as they wished. We spotted an openair quayside cafe at one stop, so got off to have a coffee. We had only been sitting there for a few minutes when in walked a couple we knew from our visits to Spain.

Completing a set

At a flea market I suddenly felt compelled to buy an old-fashioned tall mug featuring a drawing of a Lanchester car. When I took it home, my daughter grabbed it, saying that her friend collected these mugs! It turned out that the Lanchester mug was the exact one he needed to complete the set and he'd been after it for years. 50p well spent!

Star sign coincidence

I was skiing in Italy with a group of about fifty or sixty, staying in a lodge. One morning it was minus 24 degrees, so cold that no one wanted to go out skiing. Only four of us, three men and one woman, insisted - we did not want to waste a day's prepaid skipass. Grumbling, our busdriver had to build a fire under the diesel engine of the bus to get it started, while our friends told us we were mad to go up the mountain in that freezing weather, but we stood our ground.


My identical sister and I both gave birth to our first children , both girls in April but three years apart. We then both had sons in October, two and a half years after our daughters. We did not plan to do this! My grandparents both died on the same day, 21st October 1996 having been married for over sixty years. Grandma died at 5.45 a.m in one hospital and Grandad died at 12.45 p.m in a nursing home. They were 92 and 93 years old and had a double funeral. They had known each other all their lives as their parents were friends.

Educational Coincidence

As a 10 year-old boy in 1943 I lived temporarily in Anglesey to avoid the bombing, and I was sent to school in the neighbouring village of Moelfre. I was somewhat mystified to find that the two schoolmistresses who ran it were not only a mother and her daughter but also that they were Germans - with whose country Great Britain was at war. Almost half a century later, I retired from a full career in the RAF to a cottage near Chichester.

Lady and son Dartmouth

My daughter was 3 years old and her father and I took her to the zoo while holidaying in Darthmouth, we sat facing a lady with a child who wore a helmet, even got half a photo of her on the same small train ride. We never spoke.

My Mother and father

My mother died on 23 January 1977<br /> My father died on 23 January 1981