Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Why? By recording your coincidence stories here, you can help him build a picture of what kinds of coincidences are out there and which ones seem to ‘get to’ us the most. Your coincidence stories can also help him explore the scientific explanations which may account for them – whether by doing the maths to calculate the chances of a coincidence, or speculating on the weird and wonderful workings of our brains.

Coincidences tend to be ‘surprising matches’ – sometimes they are lucky, sometimes unlucky, sometimes just mind-boggling. To help you recall the coincidences that have happened in your life, here’s a list of some common types of coincidence:

  • Surprising repetitions: for instance when you’ve had not contact with someone for ages, then find two connections to them very close together in time. Or when over several years multiple members of the same family are born with the same birthday. Or even a repetition of a really rare event – like winning the lottery twice, or your life being saved twice by the same person!
  • Simultaneous events: for example when two people phone each other at exactly the same time.
  • Parallel lives: such as when two people in a small group find they share a birthday or an unusual name, or when two people discover their lives match each other in bizarre details.
  • Uncanny patterns: imagine picking letters in Scrabble that spell your name.
  • Unlikely chains of events: perhaps you lost your false teeth overboard and found them inside a fish you caught twenty years later?

If anything coincidental has happened to you - anything that made you stop and say "well, what were the chances of that..?" - then please record your story in the form below! Please try to keep your story personal - about you or someone you know. The only thing we'd ask you to steer clear of are premonitions or déjà vu, purely because - whilst fascinating - they're quite common and also difficult to analyse.

You could also tell us about coincidences in the news, but please provide a link to a reliable source!


Title: two or three words that give a simple description of your story, eg ‘old friend’ or ‘birthday coincidence’
Coincidence: tell your coincidence story - and please include plenty of relevant detail (places, dates, numbers etc.) and include your first name if you want.
Email address (optional): please leave an email address, as then we can get in touch to find out more!

All of the information entered below except your email address will be published on this website when you press save




By ticking this box you agree that your email address can be forwarded to Wingspan Productions Ltd, who are making a BBC television programme about Chance and would like to feature Professor David Spiegelhalter's coincidence collection. In doing so you agree that the producers of the programme may contact you directly to ask you more about your story, though whether you decide to help them is entirely up to you. Your details will not be forwarded to any other party or used for marketing purposes.





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My friend

I share birthday with my friends mom. My friend and I, we also end up reading each others texts or texting each other at the same time. And when he told me his career goals and goals for college were they were the same as ,mine and we had never ever talked about it prior to the time.

Birthday coincidence

My first boyfriend was born 18th of March 1985, 2nd boyfriend born 20th of March 1985, 3rd boyfriend born 19th of March 1985 and finally my husband born 17th of March 1985! All met in different towns...even my husband in another country.

Jessica

It was my stepfather's birthday on May 14th so I mailed him a card. My mom texted me today and said that she bought him the exact same card. Of all the cards out there, what are the odds of that?

Cafe Astrology Coincidence

I am a twin, and we were born on our mother's birthday - August 15. According to the system of café astrology, our "card" in a deck of 52 cards is the Jack of Clubs. My maternal grandfather's birthday is February 27. He has the same card as us. I think this is amazing. (But also unsurprising).

meeting

I live in manhattan, my friend Philip in Williamsburg (he's an artist turned printer for artist) I was walking back home from work and decided to take a different route than usual and ran into Philip who was in manhattan to pick up something at the apple store he also happen to have free time before he had to meet someone else in my neighborhood we decide to go for a drink we can't decide for a place finally I say let's go to your girlfriend's favorite place I have never been to before (it's a bar hidden behind a gallery) we go and have a drink we're 3

Boyfriend and girlfriend

I was born on 5 December 1985 and my boyfriend on 27 September 1985. We have friends who are also a couple with the same birthdays, except the boy is 28 September 1985. The girls are the same though.

New Years Eve 2049

On the 13th June 2005 a colleague's husband was tragically killed in a cycling accident in France-he'd been hit by a car. My colleague received the news whilst at work and as you can imagine her grief was felt by us all in the office. On 16th June 2005 I purchased the New Scientist magazine and read the article headlined 'Double Jeopardy'. It discussed the latest scientific work on quantum theory and suggested that either space -time was an illusion or free will was an illusion.

Mercury Poisoning

I had just read a Facebook posting about the Japanese PM supporting dolphin slaughter. One comment read ' I hope they die of Mercury poisoning'. I then moved the post beneath it which was from New Scientist concerning the NASA Messenger Spacecraft crashing into Mercury. A comment read "Messenger has died from Mercury poisoning"......!

Just seen on TV

I watched D Spiegelhalter's TV programme and enjoyed it. The very next time I went for a run (along Riverside, Cambridge, a few days later), there he was. I really wish I had stopped and asked him, in all seriousness, 'What are the chances of that?' Not a great one (we both live in Cambridge, after all), but true.

The Sweeney

Was just watching 'citizen smith' where Harry says to Smithy that he fully expected him to be caught by 'The Sweeney'. Whilst checking IMDB it turns out that the character 'speed' is played by George Sweeney and actress Cheryl Hall who plays Smithy's girlfriend has appeared in 'The Sweeney' tv series..... as has George Sweeney!

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