Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Guessing a number

When I started as a first year university student, I joined a queue with other students to get a locker allocated and receive a key. Bored, and for not particular reason apart from boredom, I asked myself whether the key would be no. 521. When my turn came, some 15 minutes later, I was given key no. 521. I was so surprised I at first did not take the key and asked why I had been given that one. As can be imagined, I was given an odd look and asked what was wrong with it whereupon I took it and left. In the queue, I had not guessed lots of different numbers, just the one.

Same place, same time

Last weekend I was walking my dogs down a long narrow lane near my home. A couple walking their dog approached in the opposite direction, and as we came closer a cyclist appeared behind them. We all met at exactly the same place in the long narrow lane in a melee of people and dogs! I experience this quite often whilst driving. Why is it that I always seem to meet a bus or lorry at the narrowest part of the road? Why does there seem to be a cyclist on every blind bend just as I arrive?

Mrs M S and July 18th

My father was born on July 18th, his father died on July 18th, I had a miscarriage on July 18th and 1 year later my son was born on July 18th

Dates of birth, meeting

My birth was finally registered in Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia on the 8th. of August, 1951. (I was born in Ndola, on the 17th. of June, 1951.) Twenty years later, our elder son and first child was born in London on the 8th. of August, 1971. A year before, I met my parents-in-law for the first time on the 8th. of August, 1970. In 1951 and 1971, there were strikes at both hospitals of the births. "Coincidence is God's way of remaining invisible." I heard someone say on the radio decades ago...

Elizabeth C

I have one brother. My parents died on our birthdays. My father died on 4th January 1976, my brother's 30th birthday and my mother died on my 61st birthday 14th May 2009.

Husband & wife

My first date with my husband was at the Gourmet Pizza on the South Bank in London. By way of making light conversation he complained to me that for years, with his long hair, he'd been teased mercilessly by comparisons with Neil the Hippy from The Young Ones and if he ever met the character's creator he'd not answer for the consequences and would...the sentence was never quite finished as we both simultaneously spotted, sitting two tables away from us, Nigel Planer himself.

Working abroad

I was working in Oman and taking a leisurely day on the deserted beautiful beach. I went swimming. There was only one other person in the water. We started talking and it turned out that he had been brought up in the same small Essex seaside village where my mother lives and his parents ran her local fish and chip shop.

Identical mileage readings at same location

On 8 Jan 12, I was driving my partners car (a Y Reg Rover 25) southbound on the M5 as we passed Michael Wood Services when her odometer reached 55,555 miles (five fives). This is not a route we drive often. Only two days later I was driving my own car (a 54 Reg Honda Civic) southbound on the M5 when its mileage hit 55,555 miles at the same location.

Wrong Number

When I was a teenager, a group of us went to Liskeard in Cornwall for our first holiday together without our parents. Whilst out visiting the local beauty spots, we walked beside a public telephone box and could hear the phone was ringing. First of all we just laughed and ignored it but on passing, I felt the sudden urge to go back and answer it. I picked up the phone and somebody said "Is that you Carol"? Well I was stunned but I answered yes.

Family of five all born on Thursdays

Martin R born 03/11/1951 Elisabeth R born 30/10/1952 Gabriella R born 25/06/1981 Rebecca R born 21/03/1985 Lucy R born 19/01/1989 Lucy was a few days late , But we knew she would be born on the Thursday!

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