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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Funny test resualt

I learn at a special math program . last year I have done an important test and after I did it I felt that I am going to get a 100(perfect score in Israel) . When i got the results I was surprised to see that I got a low grade , when I looked well I saw my name on the grade but I noticed that the ID number did not match my. After I talked with the secretary I discoverd that there is another kid named just like me and has a similar ID number that what has caused the test mixing. I am shore the other kid was upset to know that his grade was quite lower.

Many coincidences

Currently going through a divorce i met my new partner and the following coincidences have been this unusual? I share the same christian name as partners deceased wife. Partner has same christian name as my son. Partners son and my ex husband have exactly the same birthday My house has been on the market for two years and legally completed on the anniversary of partners wifes death My surname has 5 letters my partners has 4 of which 3 of these letters match

Printed email address

Over the years I lost touch with a dear friend , I tried the internet with no luck. One day I sent out a printer to be repaired and when I got it back, it had on the paper tray, a couple of sheets of recycled paper the technician probably used to test it out. On one of those I found the email address of my long lost friend.

Pope Bergoglio's name

Just before the election of the last Pope, my husband asked me information about how the Popes choose their names. I answered him: "A Pope can choose the name he wants, for exemple Francesco". Just a few minutes later the name of the new Pope was announced : "Francesco".

Meetings at Mainz and Manchester

On the platform at Mainz station in Germany I had a brief chat with a stranger; a week later I was registered at Manchester University, and there he was registering next to me.

The same birthday

My birthday is the same as my partner's father's, 50 years apart.

A chance meeting 12,000 miles from home

I was visiting the UK from New Zealand, intending to telephone a friend from school, who lived in Gloucestershire. Before I phoned him, while in London I was going down the escalator at Waterloo tube station, and saw him riding up it.

TV coincidence.

Today (24.02.2015) I took and old TV set to my local recycling plant just outside a town called Gravesend. The set itself was an Hitachi all transistor colour set from around 1984. A typical 80's model with push buttons and having a cathode ray tube was quite heavy.

Parents door key works in my door

Reading coincidence 7954, I recalled the fact I discover my parents front door key works in my front door (but not the other way around). I discovered this by accident after they have purchased replacement windows and front door, but not yet had them fitted.


I was playing a new game of Words with Friends. I was given the usual random 7 letters and my name came together in order, KAREN. Unless the game is programmed to do that and I don't think it is, I found those odds of that happening pretty remote. I do have a screen shot somewhere. I have another to share. I was listening to oldies music one morning on a run when for the first time in 35 years I understood the lyrics to this one verse in the chorus of this song.