Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

sequential license plate numbers

Once about 25 or 30 years ago my license plate on my truck was 371719. One day I was driving up a hill and noticed the car in front of me had the plate 371718. Just as I was thinking how weird that was, the car in front of that one turned off and I could see that its plate was 371717. So there were three cars in a row with plates 371717, 371718 and 371719. They were all New Hampshire plates. This means the cars were all registered at the same window at the motor vehicles dept. in sequential order.

Birthday coincidences

There are a couple of different coincidences within our family that I think are quite interesting. Firstly my mum and her brother were both born on the 19th of the month and my sister and I are both born on the 28th of the month albeit different months. My mum is 8 years older than her brother and I am 6 years and 6 months older than my sister. The second coincidence is that myself, my sister and my nephew were all born 16 minutes in the hour.

Same day birth

Both my children are born on the same day 7 years difference also their grandad is born the same day too 13th July

Pictures at an exhibition

I grew up in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. In 1986 my 11th birthday treat was a day trip to Cardiff with my family to see the ‘Dinosaurs from China’ exhibition at the museum. This was quite a big deal and out of the ordinary, as back then the journey would normally take about 3.5 hours each way, so a fair undertaking.

PIN code

A few years ago, I received a new credit card with the accompanying letter containing the concealed temporary PIN code. I went to the ATM with the intention of changing this to a memorable number but on revealing the code in the letter, I discovered that the not only were the four numbers the same as my intended change but they were in exactly same sequence, so I had nothing to alter! A remarkable coincidence I imagine. If only it had been the lottery!

Chance lift

I was posted to RAF Leconfield in 1971, and was allocated a quarter at RAF Driffield. The Driffield quarters were awful, which prompted us to buy a house on the outskirts of Driffield (knowing that I would be at Leconfield for a few years). A few months later, I was posted to Akrotiri. In 1973, I was on my way home from work one day, when 2 men were thumbing a lift just outside the camp gates. I stopped, and offered them a lift to Limassol.

birthdays, meetings

My mother's son, son-in-law and godson all had the same birthday--Feb. 14th I walked down the Ulica Placa in Dubrovnik and met the sister of a friend at school (in UK). On a small boat touring Windermere with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, we met a couple on the boat with us who came from their small town in California. I was entering the local post office when two women unknown to each other came out. Both recognized me from a picture in the local paper, and approached me to say they enjoyed my books. This in a city of 150,00+.

Spanish Superstition II

During my retirement in Spain I was involved in a serious motor accident which left me badly incapacitated. Six months later, with hip and leg pain injury I was still obliged to use crutches and my golfing career had come to an abrupt end. One morning, sitting alone on my patio (my wife having gone to golf) I noticed an elderly couple calling house to house. My neighbours seemed to give them short shrift and eventually the couple approached me. With nothing particular to do I invited them in for coffee and a chat.

Aborted Flight

In August 2011, my husband and I had flown BA from London to Singapore, en route for Brisbane where we were to spend a few days with some friends, Melodie and Eddie, who we hadn't seen for almost 20 years when they emigrated to Australia. After a few hours in transit at Singapore airport, we boarded our onward flight. Unfortunately, 45 minutes into our flight, we were told by the Captain that the plane had burst a tyre on take off and he had been told to return to Singapore.

Foreign football match meeting

I went to watch England v Slovakia in Bratislava (popn. 431,000) in October 2002 and bought a ticket on the black market from a tout for the Slovakia end. I walked into the Slovakia end of the stadium (where there were 30,000 fans present) and randomly stood in front of an ENGLISH man who lived and worked in the city. He said he could tell I was English, and we got chatting. It turned out that, like me, he supported AFC Bournemouth, which was where his parents lived.