Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Unexpected encounter

I live in Brazil with my wife and two kids - a girl and a boy. In june 2010 I travalled with my wife and my daughter (my son had not been born yet) to California. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, we took the shuttle from the rental car company in order to pick up the car we had booked. There was another couple in the shuttle and while we traveled from the terminal to the rental company site, me and my wife were chatting. By the time we arrived at the rental car company office the lady that was in the shuttle approached me and asked if we were from Brazil.

answered phone in phonebox

It was a long time ago before mobiles. I was about 15 walking through town asked a phone rang in Lloyds avenue arches Ipswich and I walked over to answer I knew who it was and they asked for me. It was weeiirrdd. I will never forget it. I exclaimed my incredulity to them telling them I was at a public phone cubicle and I just happened to answer it. The details are hazy now it was 30 years ago but I remember it ringing and answering it and the shock of it. I seem to remember the friend on the phone didn't seem to understand what was happening, the coincidence of it.

Good Cod, I don't believe it

This is not one to read before your lunch. In 1984 I was tucking into a school dinner of battered fish and chips, when I discovered to my horror that the fish contained a coiled up worm or other such parasite. As you might imagine, no more fish for me. About 6 or 7 years later I finally plucked up the courage to try some fish again, the first since the incident. And you’ve guessed it, again I find this particular fish has the same affliction. Somehow I found the whole coincidence so unlikely, that I laughed it off and did return to eating fish fairly regularly.


In 1975 I moved to the town of Hattiesburg MS to complete my degrees in Psychology and Nursing. I had brought my bike with me, and after moving into my apt, I decided to take a bike ride. I was riding along one of the main streets in town when I saw an old cemetery off to my left. I have always loved cemeteries--the quiet and peacefulness--and I liked to look at gravestones and see how old the person was at death and speculate on how he/she might have died. The cemetery appeared deserted, and I rode my bike along a little path for a ways.

Same Birthdays

I graduated high school from the small town of Port Gibson MS in 1966. In our class of 42 students, five of us had the same birthday, Dec. 19. My name is Alice Carroll (maiden name--Sanders). I remember the names of the other 4 classmates with my birthday, but will not relate them here unless needed by the coincidence investigator.

Ex school classmate

While on a cruise to Norway I met an ex classmate who I had'nt seen for 63years.

Weird and geek like coincidence

I lived in Rhodesia in the 1960's and at the age of 14 (ie: 1970), I read a science fiction book that I found fascinating it was called "Earth Abides" by George R Stewart, written in 1949 and was a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by American writer George R. Stewart. It tells the story of the fall of civilisation from deadly disease and its rebirth.

Even when you know the odds

A couple of years ago I decided to introduce my 8 year old son to probability theory (he loves maths), and sat down with a coin and pencil and paper. I explained that if we made 10 guesses for the toss of the coin, that about 5 of those guesses would be correct – whatever he chose. To prove the point, I chose HHHHHHHHHH, and he carefully guessed 10 well mixed sequences of H and T. We then tossed the coin 10 times, I scored 6 matches, he scored 4. Nice result. He was intrigued, so we played again.

Tuned in radio

My name is Paul, and on my return from a particularly difficult day at work, I opened the door to my two up, two down house and picked up the remote control for my radio. As it took a few seconds to come on, I proceeded to the kitchen to get a beer from the fridge. As I put my hands on the door of fridge, I heard a female voice from the radio suddenly announce "Paul, please don't have a drink, you know you only drink when you're unhappy". The radio play moved on whilst I froze. It's almost enough to put you off your beer...

Regular Jury Service

Shortly after my 18th Birthday i was selected for Jury Service at a crown court. Six months later i was summonsed again (and elected to serve despite the option not to) on the second jury another juror had also served with me on the first jury AND the judge and advocates were the same. I was then called again aged 20 so what are the chances of being called three times before age 21 and on two of those times meeting another juror called for the second time and having the same judge and same advocates for the prosecution and defense?