Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Inca Trail Meeting

I joined a MenCap fundraising expedition to Peru where we trekked to Machu Picchu. There were over 50 in our group from all over the country and while we were ascending a steep point in the trail, I fell into conversation with the guy behind me who turned out to be a fitness instructor. On the topic of sport and fitness, I mentioned that I had run 100 and 200m sprints for my county 25 yrs previously. He enquired which school I had gone to and it turned out that he had gone to the same secondary school and had been in the year below me. It was in a town with a population of around 30,000. Neither of us remember meeting then but of course swapped stories about the teachers and had some acquaintances in common.
Total votes: 771
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 19:34:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3409

The German, my brother and me.

Whilst I was on company business in Brussels in the 1990s, a German colleague of mine got talking to another German, when I joined the conversation I discovered this man had met my brother the week before in Germany at a trade show.
Total votes: 721
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 19:20:38 +0000Coincidence ID:3408

Eiffel Tower

My daughter Ruth met a friend from school at the top of the Eiffel Tower, whilst we were on holiday in Aug 2009.
Total votes: 737
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 19:07:51 +0000Coincidence ID:3407


My eldest son had a Year 5 teacher called Mrs G and a Year 6 teacher called Mrs R. When he went to secondary school, he was placed in 'Beaufort' house. Around that same I time, I started working for a school with a Head teacher called Mr G and a Deputy called Mrs R. Neither were any relation to my son's 2 previous teachers.
Total votes: 648
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 19:05:14 +0000Coincidence ID:3406

Indirectly Linked Through a Movie

Just over 35 years ago when I was living in Killarney, Co Kerry, I had randomly arranged with a friend one evening to go to the movies. I can’t recall the name of the film but Edward Woodward was in the cast. On meeting up with my friend she introduced me to Michael, a young guy she’d recently become acquainted who was visiting Killarney. Michael was at a loose end that evening and was tagging along with us to watch the movie. At the start of the film I mentioned to Michael that my older brother had gone to Haileybury College at the same time Tim, the eldest son of Edward Woodward, had attended there. Imagine my surprise when Michael said he’d also gone to Haileybury and knew my brother but not as good friends because he was a couple of classes below him at the time. I verified this with my brother next day and he was astounded to hear we'd made such a connection! Given it was roughly 4 years since my brother had left Haileybury, what are the chances of my meeting this guy Michael in another country, through a friend of mine he'd only just become acquainted with, to then watching a film and finding a coincidental connection through my brother and Edward Woodward?!
Total votes: 719
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 19:03:34 +0000Coincidence ID:3405


A few weeks before Xmas 2012, I bought my first ever Beige Corduroy Jacket and on wearing it on 2-3 occasions was asked by friends jokingly, "when's the chemistry lesson going to start?" or "you look like a school teacher".......I pointed out to them that for the full "teacher look", the jacket needed leather sew on patches on the outside of the elbows.....they all agreed. In between Xmas and New Year my wife and I, had the onerous task of emptying the house of my recently passed Mother-in Law, whilst sorting out one of the rooms, my wife opened a drawer and then excitedly said, "you'll never guess what I've found here", I turned to see her holding an unopened pack of one pair of leather sew on arm patches.......the hairs on my arms stood on end for a moment, before we both burst out laughing seeing this "find" as sign of approval from our departed parents for the task we had undertaken on their behalf.
Total votes: 806
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:49:50 +0000Coincidence ID:3404

Name confusion

I have the same name as someone else I work with in a big company. I used to get emails for them all the time - once or twice a week, on occasions several in one day. I changed my email profile to have my job title in brackets, it made little difference, I changed it again - this time to show my business unit. This stopped the problem entirely. This morning I remarked for the first time that I've not had a mis-addressed email in over a year. This afternoon I had one. What are the odds! (and add the odds of my seeing this the same day!)
Total votes: 698
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:47:44 +0000Coincidence ID:3403

Pint Shot Riot

Was texting a friend last summer asking if he was coming out for a drink on Friday night. I noticed whilst texting that the word 'pint' also spelt 'shot' and 'riot' due to the nature of predictive texting. I mentioned this in my text to my friend and within five minutes my friend rang me and sounded extremely worried. He went on to explain he was currently in a hotel room in York and had met an old friend he had not seen for many years on a train the previous day. This old friend asked my friend if he had heard any good music lately. This old friend went on to explain he had recently seen an excellent band in concert. I asked my friend where this story about meeting his old friend was going. He explained that he had finally got round to watching the band on youtube at the precise moment when he recieved my text. He went on to say the name of the band was 'Pint Shot Riot' We both fell silent... What are the chances of that?
Total votes: 637
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:34:11 +0000Coincidence ID:3402

Job interview

I was living in Portland, Maine (USA), and was going to be interviewing for a job in Rochester, NY in a week or two. I had never met or spoken with the interviewing manager. Before this interview, I had to travel to Santa Clara for business at the same time that a golf tournament was being played at Pebble Beach. I visited the golf tournament, which was being played across three different golf courses, and got caught in a rain storm. I took cover under a nearby deck. While waiting for the rain to pass I over heard someone near me having a conversation about Rochester, NY. It turned out to be the interviewing manager I was to meet in a week or two! I thought that was certainly quite a coincidence!
Total votes: 722
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:34:10 +0000Coincidence ID:3401

happy campers (eventually)

We hired a tent from an outdoor store located in Kettering in Northamptonshire to take with us on our annual holiday to Hayle in Cornwall. When we tried to erect the tent we discovered that the shop had packed the wrong size canvas in the bag. We phoned the company to find out what we should do i.e. hire another tent locally or do B&B instead etc. The person who answered the phone asked if we had phoned before - another customer with the wrong size canvas had also contacted them - they were located in Redruth, about 8 to 10 miles away! They could have gone anywhere in the UK! We swapped tents and had a great holiday.
Total votes: 728
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:28:06 +0000Coincidence ID:3400