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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Consider The Location Of The Moving Company

Paperwork Since there are many tasks to do when you are relocating to a new place you should make sure that the company you have hired have professionals who can do the paperwork for you. There are some good moving companies who will take care of the paperwork. They also offer insurance coverage for the valuable goods of the consumers. Conclusion These are some of the most essential aspects to consider when choosing a packing and moving company.

Won't be topped, ever...

Clouds of Glory was conceived and written in 1983-84 and copyrighted in the files of the Library of Congress. Registration Number/Date: TXu 203-171/12 July 1985. Attached at the end are 100 pages of newspaper quotes matching in detail, in identical parallels, sometimes word for word, the historical event described within Clouds of Glory, the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thereby predating the event by years.

Miracles...

A friend told me this story: His wife is very Catholic, but he was a Protestant and not much of a believer. But he turned Catholic for her as a birthday-present. He told God: "Now I did my best for THEE , let´s see what you can do, - it is your turn !" He usually went to work changing for one bus to another, this altogether would took cca. 30 minutes. But this time the first bus came "in a split of a second" and the second one too. So he arrived at work in 8 minutes . He did not remember that ever happening before .

Sobriety and a baby

There are multiple coincidences in this unfolding story. First, I was in my Aunt's bathroom in Los Angeles two months ago and looked over at a Georgia O'Keeffe print on the wall. I then left and walked to an AA meeting where an elderly lady approached me afterward and pointed to some flowers which I didn't see, and she said "Those are the kind of flowers Georgia O'Keeffe used to paint". I thought it was quite the coincidence.

5 people in my family died on Sept 9th in separate years

My mat grandmother, pat uncle, 2 cousins and my wife all died on September 9th in different years

Date coincidence

I gave a Maths talk on the 100 Prisoners Problem and prepared a Powerpoint for the talk. On the opening slide, instead of writing the date, I noticed that the next day would be 14th March, or Pi Day, and so I wrote "The Day Before Pi Day". A few months later in the same year I was asked to give the same talk. This was possibly only the second time I have given this talk formally to a large group. I decided to update the Powerpoint, and, naturally, this included the date.

Finding links with someone. Twice.

I am from a small region in Northern Spain (Asturias). I lived there for most of my life and did my degree and PhD in Biology there (Universidad de Oviedo). In the department I used to work with a guy from Mexico DF. Then I moved to Oxford where I ended up living with a girl from Mexico DF and she is now one of my closest friends.

Unexpected encounter

I live in Brazil with my wife and two kids - a girl and a boy. In june 2010 I travalled with my wife and my daughter (my son had not been born yet) to California. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, we took the shuttle from the rental car company in order to pick up the car we had booked. There was another couple in the shuttle and while we traveled from the terminal to the rental company site, me and my wife were chatting. By the time we arrived at the rental car company office the lady that was in the shuttle approached me and asked if we were from Brazil.

answered phone in phonebox

It was a long time ago before mobiles. I was about 15 walking through town asked a phone rang in Lloyds avenue arches Ipswich and I walked over to answer I knew who it was and they asked for me. It was weeiirrdd. I will never forget it. I exclaimed my incredulity to them telling them I was at a public phone cubicle and I just happened to answer it. The details are hazy now it was 30 years ago but I remember it ringing and answering it and the shock of it. I seem to remember the friend on the phone didn't seem to understand what was happening, the coincidence of it.

Good Cod, I don't believe it

This is not one to read before your lunch. In 1984 I was tucking into a school dinner of battered fish and chips, when I discovered to my horror that the fish contained a coiled up worm or other such parasite. As you might imagine, no more fish for me. About 6 or 7 years later I finally plucked up the courage to try some fish again, the first since the incident. And you’ve guessed it, again I find this particular fish has the same affliction. Somehow I found the whole coincidence so unlikely, that I laughed it off and did return to eating fish fairly regularly.

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