Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

I Met Barry after 40 years

I went to school in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and my best friend was another boy in the same year called Barry. After we left school in 1969 we went our separate ways. I married and had two sons. My wife, myself and our two sons left South Africa in 1992 and returned to the UK. One son never settled in Europe and returned to South Africa soon afterwards. He lived in Johannesburg for many years, married and had a son of his own. We visited them approximately every two years. Then he and his wife decided to leave Johannesburg and move to Cape Town.

The influence of Number 13

I was on 13 April to parents who were born on 26 (2x13) Feb and 13 July. I was asked to a Ball by my future husband as a first date - the ball was on 13 May. We were engaged on 26 june ~ 26 months later and married on 26 July~39 months later. There are many other coincidences but we moved house and initially our offer on teh existing house (no 13) was tuned down but then accepted on 26 Sept, Mortgage odff 13 Oct and the price and the mortgage were altered with no influence from us and were divisible by 13. Both our children have lived in No 13 houses/flats.

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 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.

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.

Holiday with a friend :)

Coincidences happen to me all the time. For example my dad gave me a dvd to watch which I had never heard of but I didn't watch and sent it back to his film rental place, the next day when I went to the gym it was on the screen, it was being shown on tv. But probably the most strange coincidence is a couple of years ago, I booked a holiday to go to Canada with my then partner who lived near London. I live up North so agreed to fly from Gatwick.

Birthday coincidence

My birthday is 18 October . My husband ' s is 8 january. My previous partner shares the same birthday as him. My husband's previous girlfriend shares the same birthday as me. I have never come across this coincidence before or since.


I was walking from town to the place where I had parked, and caught the glint of something on the ground. It turned out to be a lovely engagement ring set with diamonds and a sapphire, quite distinctive. I decided that I would take it to the police station, and set off again to collect my car. On the way I met the mother of my brother-in-law's fiancee, and showed her the ring. She was ecstatic as it turned out that this was her daughter's engagement ring, which she had lost earlier in the day and had been looking all over for.