Finding a relative like a needle in a haystack

As of the 23rd May 2022 this website is archived and will receive no further updates.

was produced by the Winton programme for the public understanding of risk based in the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. The aim was to help improve the way that uncertainty and risk are discussed in society, and show how probability and statistics can be both useful and entertaining.

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My in-laws, who have Greek heritage, lived in a small Australian town called Cooranbong on Australia’s East Coast, it has a population of perhaps 2,000 people. 2 doors down lived an elderly couple who were well known and respected in the community and they had 2 kids, both adopted. I had grown up in Sydney (Australia’s most populated city) and when I met my wife-to-be and her parents living in Cooranbong in the mid 1980’s, the coincidence was that the daughter (adopted) of the neighbours was a teacher of mine several years before. But that wasn’t the story. It turns out that Karen had sought out her birth parents and had found her mother’s name 4,000 kms across Australia in the city of Perth. She shared the name with my in-laws who quickly recognised the name being both Greek and familiar in the true sense. It turned out that across the vast country that is Australia, in a small town a long way from anywhere, my father-in-law was able to connect with a second cousin, who had been adopted and now lived 2 doors from him.
Total votes: 284
Date submitted:Sat, 31 Jul 2021 19:52:23 +0000Coincidence ID:11481