Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Shared childhood home

I worked for one of the London open top bus sightseeing tours from around 1993 to 1998. Initially I worked on the pavement for a few years as a supervisor (organising the departure of buses and so on) and in doing so got to know the various bus drivers and tour guides that started out or passed by the departure points I covered.

Lock and key!

My father, Terry, had some friends around for a drink in the 'pub' he'd built under his house. He mentioned that he had to get a new lock for the bought door he'd bought from a reclaim yard, and fitted to the 'pub'. It had no key. One of his guests, John, thought the door looked remarkably similar to one he'd recently taken to a tip. He still had the key on his ring: it fitted!

Exam coincidence

I was taking the Oxford University entrance exam at school in Birmingham in 1981. One of the papers I had to take involved writing a precis of an unseen passage and then answering questions about it. On the morning of that paper I chose to practice by taking a book from the school library shelves (Rousseau's The Social Contract - not quite a random choice since I chose something that interested me but not something I had any reason at all to believe would figure in the exam), selecting a page at random and writing a precis of the argument.

Total Flukeout!

I was in my wee office room, reading your blog post on your appearance on Total Wipeout. From the lounge, I heard Richard Hammond announcing, "This is Professor David Spiegelhalter". What are the chances? ;-)

Lost address book

I lost my address book in Cannes in 1968. Some months later I had a letter from a good friend of mine, Jacques, a Frenchman who had settled in Oslo. He told me he had my address book. His brother was in Cannes and had found the book. Seeing his brother's name in it, he posted it off to him in Norway. I was able to retrieve the book when I went back to Oslo the next year.

Restaurant Plates

My wife and I (Mr & Mrs Dunn) were eating in a Thai restaurant with our friends Mr & Mrs Bennett, in Twickenham around 10 years ago. None of us had been there before. My wife occasionally picks up a restaurant plate and peers underneath to find out the manufacturer if, as a student of crafts, textiles and ceramics, the design interests her. This time she absent-mindedly turned over a side plate and found the maker was... Dunn Bennett & Co. Not just one of our surnames but both, and while we were both there at the same time, and with no other friends, a rare event.

Lucky laptop

I was at an educational conference by the computer firm RM a few years ago. There was an incentive to stay all day as there would be a raffle of a swanky new laptop at the end of the day for anyone who was left. For the final session I was sat in a room of about 400 people in the front row. The presenter came over to me at the end with a big box of tickets and asked me to draw one out. When he referred to his list he announced that the winner was me! What are the chances of that?

Odds on this happening?

Teenage friendship on Tyneside. One stayed, one went to London to work. Lost touch, no contact 30 years later, the London guy went with wife and child to Aviemore for a holiday in early summer Walking in to the hotel he met his teenage friend with his wife. Amazing coincidence But 15 months later, he was walking to the top of Cairngorm and, right at the top, met the same friend again Never met since!

My Teacher

My Teacher was telling us about all different coincidences when he read aboutthree kids in the same family with the same Birthday. He Told His associate Tutor He is Getting Tickets for the London 2012 Olympics on his wedding anniversary on 11th August and she said so is myne oh my god and it was on the exact same day

holding hands

me and my dad were walking home from school and i started to dawdle but he thought i was still there so he went to hold my hand but it was actually a womands hand. the thing is he actually knew the lady and was greats friends with her lolxx

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