Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Backstreet Boy Love

I grew up in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s with a group of girls who all love (LOVED) the Backstreet Boys. Of course, the Backstreet Boys never toured the Middle East and it wasn't until our first year of college that we got to see them live in Canada. At that time, I was studying in Lebanon and my friends were studying in Montreal. They implored that my friend and I fly to Montreal to visit them and attend the concert as a reunion and nostalgia fest.

A Meet Up Down Under

I live in the States and went to Australia on a business/holiday trip. On the last day of the trip I needed to exchange my Australian currency back to US dollars. Instead of paying the expensive exchange fee, I decided to just spend the money on souvenirs. As my favorite type of shopping is in thrift stores, I headed to one. While I picked out t-shirts, I noticed a lady chatting at length with the cashier. When I went to pay for my finds, she stepped aside, but continued her conversation.

Chance Encounter

I went to film school with a guy named Zack. We weren't super close, but we worked on some films together and were friendly. </p> <p>I graduated August 2005. I moved to Los Angeles for an internship at a small film production company in Beverly Hills. I lived in a house in Hollywood. I did little else at this time besides go to work and go home and do more work. So most of my routine kept me in that small area. The exception was church.

Happy Birthday Randy

My name is Randy. I went to New York for the first time on my 29th birthday. As I was walking down 8th avenue for the first time, I happened to glance down at the sidewalk and saw where someone had scratched in the cement when it was first poured. It said "Happy Birthday Randy."

Wait...I know this dog?

I was driving home. As I pulled onto the street toward my house, I noticed in my rearview mirror, something big and black in the road. It occurred to me that it was a dog, laying in the shade of a tree in the middle of the street. I drove over, got out of my car, and walked up to the dog (a lovable black lab) who was all too happy to continue laying in the street wagging his tail. I walked him to the sidewalk, looked at his collar, and called the number. The woman who answered became very concerned, primarily because she lived in Florida, 1700 miles away.

On the bus to Fort Dix

At the end of April, 1963, I was called by the draft board to report to the US Army center on Whitehall Street in Manhattan for a physical exam. I was told that if I passed the exam, I would, the same day, be transported to Fort Dix, New Jersey to begin basic training. I passed the exam and was soon on the bus to Fort Dix, with about another 20 men who also had passed the exam. One individual, who had a strong Italian accent, was loudly complaining that he had just put down a large deposit on a suit and he didn't know how he was going to get it back.

Triple birthday coincidence

In the late 1980s, I worked behind the front desk at a small boutique hotel in Toronto. In total, there were 6 of us on staff who manned the front desk at various times, no more than 2 at a time. It came up in conversation during a shift that it was my birthday, and my co-worker said, "no way, it's my birthday too!" She showed me her driver's license to prove it because that seemed like a big coincidence.

long lost cousin on a plane

My last name is unusual. I'd say there are maybe 3 or 4 dozen people in the country with it, based on some googling. It's not even a very common name in the region my family came from. One day I was on a flight back from a conference on an airline with open seating. It was a two leg flight, both on the same plane. Between legs, the flight attendants take a head count to make sure they have the right number of through passengers before letting the new ones on. The count that day was off, so they needed to check names against the manifest.

The Day It Became Legal to Be a Jew in Spain Again

As I was researching historical facts to color the setting of my hopefully soon to be published novel, somewhere between writer's block and progress, I spotted it, my birth date, December 16, 1968. It's the exact day that the edict of expulsion against the Jews of Spain, the Alhambra Decree, was officially annulled. I interpreted that as the Divine wink I needed to complete my first novel, to give voice to Sephardim from the Middle Ages and to Israelis of today, with a sense of seriousness and playfulness, mindfulness and celebration.

Is this 3155 Main Street, Apt. 2?

I met my boyfriend at the bar next door, a few months after moving to New York - he was a bartender there and had been for 5 years. The first time he came over to my apartment, it was late at night and he slept over. In the morning as he was getting ready to leave, he gathered up the courage to ask, "Is this 3155 Main Street, Apartment 2?" "Yes...why?" I said, thinking he was just trying to figure out where he was in relation to where he had to get. "OK please don't think this is creepy or weird, but I used to live here, 12 years ago.