Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

TV and newspaper featured the same odd word at the same time

I often read the newspaper at the same as having the TV on in the same roon. It is not uncommon to hear the same word being spoken on TV as you are reading it in the paper, especially if it is a current news story. However, on one occasion, I was completing a crossword, and filled in the word TOTEM at exactly the same time as the word TOTEM was mentioned on the TV programme. It is an amazing coincidence to find that a word which you rarely hear in daily life featured in two of my senses absolutely simultaneously.

Boyfriend caught cheating

In August 2009, my housemate in Melbourne, Australia was on a 3 month holiday traveling throughout Asian and Europe. My partner of 2 years had told me he was visiting family in Greece for 2 weeks in September. These two people knew each other but were not really friends. My housemate was at a small art gallery in Spain when he spotted someone familiar and ran into my partner on holiday with another woman.

120 years apart...

In 1850, my great great grandparents, Robert and Margaret Wilson, left Ireland during the potato famine. They travelled on the Charlotte Jane, one of 4 pioneering ships which went from Plymouth to Christchurch, New Zealand, as part of colonising mission. Robert was a carpenter, and the Wilsons travelled under the patronage of the reasonably wealthy Ward family from Ireland, who sent 3 of their sons (aged about 16, 19 and 22) on the same ship, to help found the new colony in NZ.

Fathers name features in Taiwan Restaurant Menu

I was on a business trip with my MD, Peter, in Taiwan, and we decided to have a break from local food and eat at a restaurant in Kaoshiung called the "Pig and Whistle". The menus were tastefully printed on "greyed out" facsimiles of old English newspapers. During a break in the conversation, we started to read the random news stories, and one of them was from the horse racing pages. It featured the winner of a routine race at Newbury in the 1960's, Peter's father, a Newbury jockey!

Purse returned in rush hour underground

In the school summer holidays (late July /August) 1962 I was asked one moring to meet a french speaking creole ( that was how she was described to me) off the boat train at Victoria Station, show the woman London and take her to the Convent in Slough that evening. I met the woman easily but as he she had two enormous suitcases we went by tube to Waterloo station to put them in left luggage before site-seeing. At The Left Luggage department I realised that I had lost my purse with return ticket and money. The woman had some money so we set off to "do " London.

Birthday coincidence

I phoned avios to book a hotel and was giving my children's details to the lady on the phone. I told her my 6 year old was called Luke and she said, 'I've got a Luke too, but he's 8'. I then had to give his date of birth, when I did, she gasped and told me that her son was born on the same date, (but 2 years earlier). Sarah

Old Friend

My husband and I met Tony & Fred (Winifred) on a plane whilst migrating to Australia in 1964 (£10 pommies)- we were both very young and just married. We stayed in Australia and kept in touch, even sharing a house together at one time. On the day we heard my mother-in-law had died we heard that Tony's dad was dying of cancer so made arrangements to come back to England together, this was in 1966. We both had families and kept in touch over the years, tailing off in the years up to 1985 when I had sent them a Christmas card with a note telling them all of our news.

First day of school

On my first day at junior school, aged 4, I became best friends with a boy called Kevin. Over the course of the next few days, we discovered we shared the same birthday. A little later it turned out our mothers also shared the same birthday and further investigation revealed that our fathers and older brothers (both six years older than us) both had birthdays ten days apart from each other. We were inseperable for the next seven years.


When I was 2 years old, it was discovered that my heart was on the right instead of the left. I have a condition called dextrocardia and situs inversus. There was no family history of this. Aged 34 I had my first child, at 8 months he needed a chest x-ray and it was discovered that he had the same condition. Apart from this reversal of all internal organs we have no adverse effects from it.

Genealogy searching

Coincidences One of the incredible number of co-incidences which happened to me on my second trip to Slovakia was this one: I'm in my little blue Czecho hire car, taking a last possible photograph of our great-grandmother's building - stolen time as I should already have been on the road back to Prague. I'm there because the previous evening when I was in Prejta I met people who told me where the house was and invited me in to their house and by the time I came out it was too dark to take a picture..