A pair of Jaguars

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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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A few years ago I bought an immaculate 46 year old Jaguar XK120 sports car . Although it was to be garaged I wanted the extra protection of a dust cover so I telephoned one of the two companies that were advertising a car-specific customized service . "Good morning. I'd like to order a dust cover for my car , please." "Certainly , sir , what make and model is it ?" " Its a 1954 Jaguar XK120." " Very rare . Very nice . Yes we can produce a cover for that model. What name shall we put on the order ?) "Moir _ spelt - M O I R ." (Slight pause in time .) "But you already have a dustcover on order with us . You called us last week and placed the order ." "No I didn't _ this is the first time that I have ever called your number ." "Well I have it here _ Jaguar XK120 _ name Moir ! " "Moir ?? are you sure ? " " Yes sir _ Moir _ a Mr D. Moir " "Wow ! I am Derek Moir _ but I have never called you before today ! It must be another D. Moir !! _ with another XK120 !!!! " The man in the dustcover shop agreed to telephone his first D.Moir , giving him my phone number , and D.Moir (1) telephoned me . We had the expected conversation which revealed that his name was Duncan (his wifes name was Linda _ as is my wife's name !) and he had just bought his XK120 . We could not trace our lineage back to a common ancestor _ but agreed to meet at the next Classic Jaguar Car rally _ to explore the coincidence further . He never showed up ! Moir is not a common surname . There can only have been 50 or so XK120's on the road in the UK in the year 2000 _ when this event took place .
Total votes: 351
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:04:29 +0000Coincidence ID:3618