Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Boyhood friends/birthdays

In 1956/7 I attended a secondary school called St Michael and St George's (I think) near a town Iringa in Southern Tanzania. There I formed a close friendship with another 16 year old, David Leonard. His father was a miner on a small gold mine near Mwanza in Tanzania and we (my father was in the colonial administration) lived some 150 miles away in the same area. We both left the school in 1957, I joined the British army and came to the UK and he followed me to stay with relatives a little later.

Queen of Coincidence

Randomly rented an old movie once....thriller type and everyone in the movie had the same birthday May 10th. I was thinking to myself I'm glad its not May 10th today. Then I started calculated and thought what a coincidence it is May 10th. A smidge scary. The next day I was telling the story about the eerie coincidence and he says hey my birthday was yesterday....I looked at his ID, and yes it was true.

Saving a stamp on a christmas card

I was travelling in Vietnam with a few days left on my visa in December 2013. I bought a ticket to get me through to Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, via a short tour of the Mekong basin. I received an email from an old friend who I hadn't been in contact with very much for many years, asking me for my latest address, "otherwise you wont get a xmas card ...". It turned out he and his partner were about to fly out to Phnom Penh for a winter break. I told him to save the postage and bring my card with him.

The Extra I Ching Coin ?

Many years ago I went to Denmark to work as an engineer. I soon met a Danish girl, and we moved into a flat together. She was a student of Chinese at the university in Copenhagen. The flat was almost derelict and needed much repair; its previous (and then deceased) occupant had no connection with the university. In seeing her collection of books I learnt of the I Ching. This involves tossing three Chinese coins for a series of heads and/or tails for purposes of divination. One then consults a book with one's obtained series.

Cornish Love Match

Miraculously, we found each other late in life… we had raised our families, had our careers. I did not even know he existed, (though he did know of me) but on the Venn diagram of our lives, we had been treading adjacent paths and circling each other through all my growing up years. But the big miracle – call it karma – had us both, 400 miles apart, independently turning on our computers on the same day, at the same time, and using the same dating site – one that enabled us, finally, to meet. He spotted me 'watching' his dating profile...

Mother dies in house fire. Two weeks later daughter dies in house fire in the same house.

Mum and daughter die in house fires, only days apart Jim Cusack PUBLISHED 08/05/2011 | 05:00SHARE Tragedy struck a Drogheda family for the second time in less than a fortnight yesterday after the daughter of a woman killed in a house fire died in a second fire in the same house. SHARE A second daughter who had also returned for her mother's funeral, which was due to have taken place today, was also in the house and is seriously ill in Drogheda General Hospital. The dead daughter was named as Susan Krings, 34, whose mother Alicia Krings had been found dead in the front room of th


As a teacher, a few years ago, I was looking through a supplies company catalogue. On one page they had classroom calendars/date displays and the only ones on the page were mine and my wife's birthday (date and month!)

same room at university

I studied for my undergraduate degree at Manchester University 1990-93. There were about 10,000 students at Manchester Uni when I was there. A similar number at the Poly and a similar number at UMIST , more at the business school etc. I lived in student accommodation in my first year, a place called Oak House. Many years later I was working in the city. We had summer interns every year and one year an intern said he also went to Manchester Uni.

Why am I Simon

In 1962 my father won a KelIog scholarship to study at Michigan State University and I spent a year at junior school next to the campus village. In 1975 I was studying at Liverpool Uni and travelled to Hebburn for a job interview. To save money I decided to hitch back to Liverpool. I caught a bus out to the Scotswood Road and stuck out my thumb. I was picked up by a guy about my age driving a much too good car. He wouldn't take me very far but it was a start and so I got in & began to casually chat.

life saver?

One day I was about to go to collect my wife from work. We used to have a landline phone near the door. As I opened the door to leave the phone rang. I answered it and found it to be a friend. I told them I was just going to collect my wife and would call them back when I got home. I left the house within around 10-15 seconds after I would have left had the phone not rung. As I turned into a road on my journey it was possible to see quite a distance as it was a long road.