Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


When on holiday in the island of Minorca I bumped into a co-employee of the same large company. We had only minimal work contact and he worked in Bedfordshire and I worked in London. We had no forknowledge of each other's holiday arrangements. Coincidence 1: We booked the same week. He stayed in the north of the island. I stayed in the south. Coincidence 2: On the Thursday morning of that week we both decided to drive to a large town on the east of the island. Coincidence 3: On walking back to the car at the end of my visit I passed through a small plaza.

Ex-colleague meeting

After a weekend visit I was flying back from London Heathrow to Glasgow and the last two empty seats before take-off were in my row of three. They were taken at the last minute by an ex-colleague who is Japanese and his teenage son. I worked closely with this person doing medical research at Glasgow University around 15 years previously and his son had been born in Glasgow. He was bringing his son for a holiday touring Scotland but I didn't know this until they sat down beside me on the flight connecting them from Tokyo through LHR to Glasgow.

Birthday Coincidence

My daughter was born on the same day as her dad, 27th October, her daughter stayed snuggly inside her mummy's womb, waiting to be born on the same day as her mum and grandad. The dr's though had other ideas, so because she was 2 weeks overdue the dr's wouldn't wait a day longer and the baby was induced one day before her mums and grandad's birthday! Also my son's baby is due about his birthday in July?

What are the odds?

I have one PIN number that I use for everything and have used the same 4 digit number for years, for everything from banking to online signups. Several years ago I applied for a credit card and upon acceptance received a randomly generated PIN number. That PIN number was exactly the same as the PIN I've been using for years. I asked the bank about this and was assured all the pin numbers sent out were generated on a completely random basis and could have nothing to do with me personally. I'm no mathematician but you've got to be talking very serious odds on that one.

Richard Gibson

In 2000 I took part in the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton cycle ride. My allocated number was 10106. I have a photograph and entry card showing the number. A few years later, as part of my job with Hampshire County Council I was (unusually) seconded to Hampshire Police to help manage implementation of the new non-emergency number (now live across England and Wales). The non-emergency number is 101 and we went live in 06.

My Family and two repetitions

1. My father, my brother and myself, each married for a second time. My father was 17.5 years older than his wife, my brother was 17.5 years older than his wife, and my husband was 17.5 years older than me! 2. Thirty years ago I did not know a single person called either Philip/Philippa or Nicola/Nicolas. Then my uncle married a woman who had twin neices, Philippa and Nicola. My brother married a woman called Nicola, who has a twin sister Philippa. And I married a man called Philip, with a daughter called Nicola. Thank you. Helen

Mirror Image

During a 3-month trip across Canada, I bumped into a friend from my home town in Yorkshire in a youth hostel in Lake Louise. Neither of us knew the other was in the country; we were both following the same route between Toronto and Vancouver only I was going east-west and she was going west-east, and both flew in and were due to fly out on the same days....with the same airline, back to Leeds Bradford airport.....

Flight 911 headed for downtown Manhatten

In the 1980s Michael Burke made a documentary series called "Connections". At the start of the first episode he stood at the top of the World Trade Centre and talked about a power cut that, amongst other things, left Flight 911 flying towards the towers of Manhattan without any navigation or radio contact.

Wrong Number

Around 1976 I was working in Bristol. I made a STD phone call to Cardiff and mis-dialed. The wrong number that answered was the home number, which I had never had, of someone I had met at union meetings a couple of years before. She recognized my voice.

answering the phone

Some 20 odd years ago my daughter was studying at Plymouth Polytechnic as it was then. A long way from home she would ring home from a call box for a family chat I would ask her for the number she was ringing from and ring her back, as this was cheaper. So I had a short list of numbers she had rung from by my phone at home. I was filling in a form about her Council grant and needed to ask her a question, so I went to the last phone number I had from her and rang it.