Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Traffic situations

I have observed this as a jogger/walker/cyclist and driver. When on a fairly quiet road the frequency with which two vehicles travelling in different direction cross at the exact place where there is a walker/runner/cyclist, often necessitating one vehicle to slow down, is much greater than I would expect. On occasions one can travel miles with few or no other vehicles coming then at the very moment there is a slow moving individual on foot or on a bike a vehicle appears. I know this does not fit your categories but I am curious to know if there is any basis to this intuitive belief of mine.


My coincidence was that i got hit of my moped in the 90s and slid along the road into the path of a bus,luckily for me someone had just stepped onto the zebra crossing stopping the bus which would have otherwise ran over me,unfortunately a few weeks later i was sat reading the local Bristol eveningpost paper and i read that a man had been killed in a road accident on the same part i had and the coincidence was he had the same forename and surname as myself. RIP Matthew S.

Genealogy connection - 4th cousin, different families !!

I am interested in genealogy and was researching my son's partner's tree when I came across a person in that tree that was also connected to my family tree ! A first, I thought that I was on my family tree. I emailed her and it turns out that she is my 4th cousin on my tree, but ALSO my son's partner's 4th cousin on her fathers side of the family !!!! What a co-incidence that is !!!! Also, when I found a new sister I didn't know I had 11 years ago, her son's birthdate was same date (different year) to my son.


In 2002 I was driving my brother and his girlfriend to Dublin Airport as they were leaving to live in New York indefinitely, with no guarantee of a job. As we approached the airport, Sting's song 'Englishman in New York' began playing on the car radio - really freaked me out as I hadnt heard that song in years!

Meeting abroad.

In 1989 I sold a house and gave my daughter £500 for a ski holiday with friends. The first morning on the piste she encountered her cousin, whom she hadn't seen for some time. He was with a totally unconnected party, and neither had any idea that the other was going on a ski trip.

Old car coincidence

As a child my parents used to send myself and my two siblings away for a two week summer holiday and we used to be dropped off at a London station to meet the party we were travelling with. This time we pulled up to park behind our old car, a Morris traveller, which we had sold some years previously locally in Norwich.

Surprising meeting abroad

In 2000 we took our daughter to Disneyland in Orlando. We stopped for lunch in a themed restaurant and joined the queue for a table. Immediately before us in the queue were one of my daughters schoolfriends and her family. None of us knew that both families were there at the same time.

Radio 4 telepathy

I recently visited an archaeological site in Cornwall. AIthough I've been a keen amateur archaeologist for many years I had never heard of the site before I researched the trip: it is not particularly well-known. I walked back to the car, switched the radio on and immediately heard a discussion about the exact site. It wasn't even an archaeology programme, but a general 'questions answered' type of programme, focusing on the etymology of the site's name. I'm well-used to minor coincidences but this was very odd indeed!

mr Royston W

Music coincidence. On 311211 my wife and I were watching the approach to new years eve on television. We had music playing on our computer. There was over 7hrs of cds listed and playing at random. As big ben started to strike twelve we heard Auld Land Syne being sung. We both thought it was on the television at first but soon realised in was being played on our computer.

Supermarket Surprise

I had a big bucket of old change and my husband and I thought we'd take it to our local supermarket and empty it into one of those change machines, get a voucher and put the money towards our weekly shop. The bucket of change yielded a voucher for £123.47 (we'd been collecting it for a while) so we were quite happy. We walked round the shop, chatting away, filling our trolley but not paying any attention to how much we were putting into the trolley. When we got to the checkout, the cashier scanned all of our items and we packed them into bags and loaded them back into the trolley.