Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Bob Hoskins

Many years ago, the year the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was released, I went to a butchers one day with my dad and in front of us in the queue was the actor Bob Hoskins. This became a rather legendary meeting in our family. About 20 years later, I was in a butchers in north London and in front of me in the queue was Bob Hoskins! I nearly collapsed. I only ever saw him twice and for both of those times to be behind him in the queue of a butchers, in completely different areas of the country, seemed extraordinary. It seemed such an unlikely place.

Numbers

My National Insurance numbers (not the letters) match my bank account number in exactly the same order (apart from the lasting digit).

car parking coincidence

I was staying at the HF Holidays house in St Ives last week. The car park held 18 cars in 3 lines. Two lines were adjacent, so it was necessary to provide reception with your number plate in case your car was blocked in. Mine was, so on the free day I had ask the people blocking me in to let me out. They just happened to be sitting in their car as I made for their room. We exchanged a few words and they drove off. I set off for St Just, about 12 miles away and found the town car park. It held about 100 cars and was virtually full. I drove round until I found a space and backed into it. The car directly behind me was the same car as at the HF house, and the couple emerged from it at exactly the same moment as me. We stared at each other in total disbelief and said 'What are the chances of that happening?'

Friend-relative

I was studying at university abroad in 1980, where I met another student who was also studying away from home. We became friends, and always together. When I mentioned her to my grandmother, who I was staying with then, she told me that my friend was actually a relative, that her grandfather was my grandfather's cousin. We remain friends and in touch till now.

Roulette Win Coincidence

While I enjoy playing poker and visiting Casinos I only ever spend what I can afford to lose. However on the last 3 times visiting Casinos in the UK, before leaving I would always place a single bet on Roulette on a single number betting £25 each time. All 3 times I won on different numbers selected at random in a single bet. The strangest was the 4th time when I was visiting Las Vegas and decided to try my luck in the home of gambling. Upon arriving at my hotel with Casino I placed my 1st bet of £25 ($30), selecting another random number and luck would have it I won again... Paid for my wedding and honeymoon. Now what are the odds for that ?

Sibling birthdays

Family of 4 siblings Eldest 2 born on 18th of month (February and October). Youngest 2 born on 27th of month (November and May)

M*******

I booked a trekking holiday in Nepal. I live in Cambridge and went to school there. I had a really good school friend called M*******. She moved to Birmingham with her parents after we left school. She worked in Birmingham central library. On the trek we were talking about our backgrounds and three trekkers were from Birmingham. One had been a librarian. In Birmingham central library. And knew M****** really well!

July 9th

July 9th 1995 my brother casey was taken off life support after an accident that would have left him in a vegetative state. July 9th 2005 My uncle Bobby was found with a self inflicted gunshot thru the chin. July 9th 2021 My youngest son, Casey, who just had a baby on the 29th of may and the baby being born with a hole in his heart passed away. It all just seems too coincidental and made it more difficult to accept the death of my grandson.

Three names/careers the same.

I was randomly seated at a restaurant bar. There was an empty seat to my right, then a young couple, female next to the empty chair, and her male friend. About 10 minutes later, a couple came to the empty chair, the woman sat beside me. I was waiting for my meal, so we talked a bit. Turns out she was a nurse, who worked in the same town I did. Then, my meal came, so she started talking with the young woman on her right. Turns out, she was an R.N. They exchanged names. The woman next to me was Lora, the young woman was Laura. My name is Lori, and I'm an R.N. Felt sort of creepy.

Coincidence Coincidence

This is going to sound like a bad joke, but the fact is that I got pointed to this web-page twice independently in an hour after never having heard of it before. (In order to understand the anecdote below it might be worth noting that I am a fairly new academic in the field of statistics. So perhaps the really surprising thing is that I hadn't heard of David Spiegelhalter before this sequence of events took place.) First I was having a chat with a colleague about a very strange data set that had come out of an experiment I had been carrying out for a while (which I will post as a separate coincidence), and she suggested have a look at David Spiegelhalter's work, and his web-page for reporting coincidences. So I went and had a look at the web-page before going to a catch up with a different colleague where we ended up talking communicating comprehension of probability, and he suggested I should look up a guy called David Spiegelhalter who has a web-page where people can report coincidences.

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