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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Jailed

Another person has the same name and date of birth, as me. One consequence of this was that a police officer was convinced that I am a criminal - so she sent me to jail.

Coincidence linking past people with the present

My partners mother came from Austria in 1936 and worked at a local house. I became interested in the history which led to a series of coincidence. The house and garden is usually closed to the public, however, while i was thinking about this we unexpectedly discovered the Garden was open for just 1 day of the year. We were surprised and drove back to visit. We were surprised to discover someone we knew had refurbished the house and Garden (someone who had died a few years earlier).

same odd birthdays, same places lived

I met this man, so far a pretty awesome guy much like myself in many ways. We share the same birthday October 31st, and we also lived near each other twice in two different states. I moved to south las Vegas in 2009 lived there until 2011 then moved to Oklahoma near Tulsa ok. I met this man same birthday then I find out that we both moved to Vegas in the same year lived a few miles from each other aother now we both live near Tulsa once again a few miles from each other. And met just by chance playing the app game scrabble.

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coincidences - in a short time frame of 24hours

I experience days when I do or say something without any prior thinking and then later on the day something happens that relates to the action or what I would have said. yesterday a friend of mind was talking about her son's behaviour and I casually said that to attract her attention he will have to do something else or think of something else..... a few hours later her son ran from home and she found him 2 hours after... on same date I was joking to a new college about her husband who is unknown to me but has the same age....

Prof

I had never used a car valet service in my life, when being short of time, I decided to use one to get my car in a respectable state for a visitor. I arranged for a valet service come to my work to valet the car while I was at work. A colleague who works with me and had also never used a car valet service in her life, happened to independently arrange the same valet service to valet her car at work on the same day, for reasons unrelated to my reason for using the valet service.

Lived in the same house

I was at a house party for a friend in a town close to where I grew up. I started talking to this random girl and I asked her where she grew up. She began to describe where she lived when she was growing up and it ended up being the house I live in now. Her bedroom was the bedroom I have now. So weird!

The Coincidence of Kes

an old friend who lives in London (I live in Canada) is a film producer, quite successful at this time. In the early days of her career (1960's), she was involved in the production of a black and white film about a boy and his hawk called Kes. It was an obscure film, probably lost forever now. I know about it because my friend told me about it and that it was, out of all her productions, the one she was most proud of. My friend and I talk about once a year by phone and catch up.

Off-switch

My friends and I went to a birthday party at a friend's place. One of my friends was quite hyperactive that evening, jumping and dancing and doing his robotic break dance stuff for hours. After a while we started joking about it and someone asked where to switch him off. I just randomly pressed my finger into his belly, my friend played along and instantly stopped moving. At that exact moment, the music and all lights went out, too. The fuse had blown at exactly the same time as I pressed the "off-switch". That was the first and last time that fuse ever blew.

Not a chance its chance #3

How likely do you think it is that I would listen to a story: The Black Monk, by Moliere in which an idea is mentioned in the story line that ‘33,000 years of very great suffering can be compressed into 1000 years’ and then hear the same idea in an audio tape, in a different context within a few days? I borrowed The Black Monk on tape from the library and listened to it. On my way to return it I realized I had nothing to listen to so I picked up a tape that had been laying on the corner of the kitchen countertop. It had been there for some time for no apparent reason.

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