Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


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.

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.

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.

Four birthdays in One

Travelling in a car with three other passengers a chance comment revealed that all four of us shared the same birthday (day and month).

Ms Sh

In the late 1980's I was in a relationship with a man with the initials AS. He lived in a large block of flats in the city of London. Our relationship ended and years later in 2001 I fell in love with another man who lived in the same block of flats on another floor whose initials were - AS.

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?

Telepathy or coincidence?

When I was at college in Salisbury in the 1970's, I shared a house with a friend (from Bristol) and spent the weekends with my partner in our isolated cottage 40 miles away. I split up with my partner towards the end of my training and stayed in Salisbury all the time. At the end of term I had to go to the cottage for a few days to sort out my affairs. I travelled as far as I could by public transport and my ex-partner drove me the rest of the way.

Appendix - double trouble!

My 18 year old daughter woke in considerable pain one day and I took her to the doctors surgery. Whilst waiting for her to come out, I took a call from my 22 year old son who told me not to worry but that he was in A & E at his local hospital as they thought he may need his appendix out.

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.

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.