Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Same House

We'd traveled to Stockholm to join a cruise ship sailing round the Baltic Chat between fellow passengers is the norm on cruises. We live in Bolton in the north west and struck up a conversation with a couple who live in the New Forest. No real coincidence here as half the passengers were British. However this couple from the New Forest used to live in the house we currently live in up here in Bolton. Not nearby but the exact same house. So, we're on a ship in the Baltic Sea and meet the people who used to live in our house. Awesome as the Americans might say.

Coincidence or is it already written in my stars???

I was 5 years old when my parents divorce was finalized. My father remarried shortly thereafter as his mistress was pregnant with my new baby brother. Young and clueless as to the details and heartache my mother had endured and kept hidden from my older brother, older sister and I , we anxiously awaited the day to come, this day that we were to meet our new additional family. Lori, our step mother had two children at this time. Jennifer and Jason Belair. My Dad did not marry her until two years later so she kept her name as Lori Belair until 1988. Their divorce was finalized in 1992.

Tom Lloyd

My daughters have two school friends. Both have the first and middle names Roseanna Poppy. This is not the normal spelling of Rosanna. Both were born on the same day.

Message from Mars

Roughly fifty years ago I took the back off our valve radio and I removed and cleaned the dust off the valves and the rest of the chassis etc. When I put the valves back in and was about to switch it on either my mother or myself said maybe we will get a message from Mars now. When I switched the radio on the first words from the speaker were "Mars calling, Mars calling". My mother and I were speechless. I do not expect anyone to actually believe this but it did happen.

Mr Dobbs

What is the chance of meeting someone exactly 100 years older than yourself ....... to the day!!!? My 3 day old daughter did when my next patient came down the corridor who needed her hip fixing after falling over on her 100th birthday the exact day my daughter was born. My 3 day old met my 100 year and 3 day old patient. Neither can recall the incident. But it still amazing the coincidence.

Chance encounter

In 1984, my friend - Kenny Mundie - and I were colleagues who worked night shift. One afternoon, Kenny picked me up and we drove into town. As we drove, Kenny mentioned a friend of his called Abbie Copeland whom he was convinced I must know. I said I didn't know Abbie, but I mentioned that I had heard of him from a friend of mine called Mike Geddes. Kenny said that he didn't know Mike, but I was adamant that he must know Mike. We were still debating the matter when we stopped behind a Ford Transit van at a set of traffic lights.


This is someone else's coincidence that I experienced. Back in the pre-internet days I used to book my business flights through a travel agency based in Putney, London. On having to change flight details on a trip I rang them one day. "Can you tell me who was dealing with your flights?" the voice enquired. "Yes, it was Jane." I said. "Do you know which Jane? It should be on the itinerary." she asked.

Princess Di's death date

I woke up today with a strange thought: "I'm probably about the same age as Princess Diana was when she died." I can't recall ever having this occur to me in my life. I'm not a particular fan of Diana or the Royal Family, and they generally occupy very little of my mental bandwidth. Out of curiosity, I looked up Diana's age of death. She was 36 years and 61 days old. As of today (when I looked this up), I'm 36 years and 60 days day younger.

Winning lottery amount equalled stolen amount of cash exactly

My wallet was stolen from my University office shortly after my mother had died. Inside was her old bank card with a slip of paper with her PIN number, yes very silly I know. The thief withdrew the remaining balance of £57 at a cash line within half an hour. A few days later I was notified that I was one of the small prize winners in the Strathclyde University Staff Lottery. The prize was £57.

Professor Sameh Morcos, Emeritus Professor of Diagnostic Imaging, Sheffield

I left Egypt my country of birth in the summer of 1973 , a time that was extremely difficult for professionals to leave Egypt. I had several coincidences that facilitated obtaining the relevant documents and permission to leave the country.