Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

The white owl

I have experienced many coincidences in life and have always found them to be quite remarkable. One morning, while driving to work, I decided to take note of any coincidence that might occur. Nothing strange happened at work but while driving home I decided to listen to some music. I was talking earlier that day with a coworker about concerts that I’d been to while going through a heavy metal phase. The last one that I’d gone to featured the deftones. I decided to see what they were up to and searched for some new music by the group.

same address

Bought tickets for York Art Gallery, agreed to gift aid, so gave post code. The woman said, that's familiar. She used to live next door, in Bridge of Allan, central Scotland.

Pennies from Dad

My father died in 2011, at the age of 99. Daddy was always one of those guys who saved his pennies. I had occasionally found pennies on the ground when I was out and about, but after my dad passed away, it seemed as though the number I was finding increased. I began finding them almost every day. When one or two days would go by without my finding one, I would then find a Nicole, dime, or quarter instead. One day I jokingly picked one up and said aloud, “Thanks, Daddy”. My son was with me and asked what I was doing so I told him about finding all of the pennies and other change.

Repeating Initials

When I was around 8 years old I discovered my favorite band and quickly started to develop a crush on the main singer whose initials are J.M. To this day, EVERY SINGLE GUY I've come to have a crush on or had a relationship with has had the same initials. It's not like i look for them, but once I'm already into them or dating them I discover their last name or simply realize they to, in fact, have the same initials.

my doctor appears when I need to speak to him

I live in a city of approximately 0.5 million people. I saw a new doctor last week, and now I needed to speak to him (I was going to call him tomorrow morning when he would be at his surgery). But this afternoon I needed to buy some pillowcases, so I travelled across town to ikea. I arrived at the pillowcases, and there was my doctor!

all in a name

I stated posting these previously that my experience most often tends to be the simultaneous occurrence of seeing and hearing random uncommon words. I was sitting on a bench considering whether to reach out to my friend Wanda. Just then I got up and turned to immediately see her name on a personalized license plate. Yesterday I was playing Wordscapes and the moment I traced the word 'sale' on my phone, Chris Sale's (MLB pitcher) name was spoken on the TV, though not because he was pitching in a game which would obviously make the mentioning of his name less coincidental.

Same hospital bed, same name

About 10 years ago I was having an operation in a London hospital I arrived during the afternoon and when it got to tea time the staff handing out meals claimed that I had cancelled my meal which I vigorously denied, telling them truthfully that no-one had asked me anything about my meal preferences. The next morning a group of nurses on the next shift congregated round my bed and the lead nurse said, "This is Mrs ....". One of the nurses interrupted and said, "No, she went home yesterday morning." I interrupted and confirmed that I was indeed Mrs ...


During a commercial of Sportscenter, I reach over to my phone to start playing Wordscapes Uncrossed where you trace letters in a circle to identify the words those letters might form. These five letters made the word "blimp" and just as I traced them to form the word, the word "blimp" was spoken on the TV synchronized exactly to my tracing.

The same ship name

My Uncle Jim, with whom I share my name, was torpedoed and sunk twice whilst serving in the Merchant navy in WWII. He never talked about this but my father mentioned it briefly once and I knew nothing of the circumstances. Recently I was researching our family history and after help from the National Archives I at last discovered the ships he served on. The second sinking was of the ms ADDA, an Elder Dempster passenger liner which in the early hours of the morning of 8 June 1941 had been the lead vessel of a convoy which had been dispersed en route to Liverpool from Africa.

Professor Nicholas Pickwoad

I worked for many years as a conservator of rare books and manuscripts, and one afternoon in the October 1985 was working on a manuscript volume of harpsichord sonatas by the Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti, one of about 20 volumes of many different sorts of music sent to my workshop for conservation by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. As usual, my radio was tuned to Radio 3, and I realised after a few minutes that the music I was listening to was not only by Scarlatti, but actually the same sonata that I was working on within the volume at that moment.