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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Vertical Tabs

Same taxi driver in a city.

First arriving to Barcelona at (10-11 am) we took a taxi between the train station and the Hotel in the city center. The driver was a very funny guy and easy to remember. Later on the day (19 hrs), we stop for a taxi on the other side of the city to go back to the hotel... Same Driver, some vey unlikely in a city with 10481 taxis in the city (1). It was a fist for the taxi driver too. (1)

London Tube encounter

I used to be a member of an amateur dramatic group in Galway, Ireland and became very friendly with one woman in particular. I left this wonderful city to work in London. About 18 months after leaving I was standing with my boyfriend on the Notting Hill Circle Line platform to Baker Street. We had a game that one was to pick a spot on the platform that would stop in front of a door. It was my turn and so I picked a spot.

My travelling travel agent

I booked a round the world ticket with a travel agent. It was very bespoke - just the key flights with my daughter and I doing independent travel between airports. We were crossing from San Pedro de Atacama into the Bolivian altiplano six months later, swapping transport from Chilean buses to Bolivian 4x4s. The drivers had stopped for a coffee break and all the passengers were milling around waiting. I was talking to someone about my trip when I heard a voice say "are you Julian?".

Crossed Paths

In the week after Christmas 2014 we went to see Peter Pan, a Pantomime in Dartford Kent, The venue was some 60 miles by road from our home in West Sussex. Whilst waitiing in the theatre's foyer for admission to the auditorium were were standing close to a family which included a young man who I guess would be in his mid twenties. Unfortunately he was "not all there" and repeatedly pulled an old mobile phone out fo his pocket and had a fairly loud but incoherent "conversation" with no-one as the phone was obviously not switched on.

Similar names jobs

I left my old job to continue a small business with a widow after the passing of her husband,my second name is Farai so was her husband and their son, I'm n auto electrician so was the late , my first name is COLLEN and the widow's LORREEN I was born on the 03/08/70 she was born on 09/08/85 same month we share the same totem " monkey" we are not related but originally come from the same tribe, I found the pattern striking, would b glad if someone can explain

Running into my Ex in 3 different cities

Los Angeles, CA: Shortly after my breakup, I was driving home at about 2 a.m. and who happens to pull up alongside me at a red light? You guessed it. Granted there was no one else on the road. San Fran, CA: About 3 months after my breakup, I took a trip to San Francisco and went to a Chinese restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. Who do you think was there? You guessed it again. The next day I was walking through a different part of the city of San Francisco.


I grew up in a town called Port Pirie then I moved 2000km away only to meet and marry a man who's last name is Pirie. We bought a house in, you guessed it, Pirie Street. my mother in law moved into a flat in Oak street, my parents live in a house on Oaks Road. When I moved back to Port Pirie, I bought a house in Henry Street, my father's name is Henry. Oh yes, and I'm a twin.

Christmas Tree Code

Customer Service were discounting my friend's christmas tree which they had just over charged her for. Like a child I was repeating in my head my friends pin number for her card as I was sure I'd need to use it. As I stood talking to the lady she started reading my friend's pin number to me. I so wanted to say something but it was obviously inappropriate. She ended the 4 digits with an additional number 1. It turns out it was the product code on the christmas tree.

Numbers...111, 1111, 444, 555, 1212

I am frequently seeing 111, 1111. Whether on a clock, address, purchase price, highway, birthday, etc. Now I am seeing 444, 555, 1212 everywhere as well. I can no longer believe this is just coincidence.

Ex's name appears frequently right after our breakup

Like pouring salt in a Ex's name kept popping up frequently. Not really a common name (let's say Brett). The new Barista's name, painted on the side of a truck driving along side me, client's name...etc. All I could say is "Ouch"!