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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Dr

My dad died in August 1997 and was a big Beatles and John Lennon fan. I thought that it would be a nice idea to have the word 'imagine' on his plaque as a reference to the song and how life could have been different for my dad. In September I was discussing this idea with my sister on the phone when suddenly she stopped and said that the song 'Imagine' had just come on the radio.

synchronicity over a lifetime.

This applies to both Matt and Lora and took place within a year or at almost the same time: : Both first born, a year apart, left handers with partial color blindness. Both fathers musical and played the accordion. English not the first language - learned at time of school entry or just before. First language now forgotten or nearly so – English spoken with no accents. Moved to a new school in second grade. Sent to live with others for a year at age 7.

Eclipse

I was just reading a story online about a black Labrador called 'Eclipse' which takes a bus ride by itself to the park,when an advert for the Iphone 7 came on with Dwayne 'the rock' Johnson in it where he says ' I hope I don't cause an eclipse'!!

Ms R Kidd

I have recently noticed a lot of coincidences in my life between age and date. Where the same numbers occur in my age to the numbers that occur in the date of the year, it seems there is a significant change to my life soon after. In 1961 I turned 16 and met my future husband. We didn't have much to do with each other until we met again in 1971. We decided to marry in 1972 when I was 27. The date of our marriage was the 27th January 1973. On this date my father's age was 65 years 10 months and my mother's age was 62 years 9 months.

Same House

We'd traveled to Stockholm to join a cruise ship sailing round the Baltic Chat between fellow passengers is the norm on cruises. We live in Bolton in the north west and struck up a conversation with a couple who live in the New Forest. No real coincidence here as half the passengers were British. However this couple from the New Forest used to live in the house we currently live in up here in Bolton. Not nearby but the exact same house. So, we're on a ship in the Baltic Sea and meet the people who used to live in our house. Awesome as the Americans might say.

Coincidence or is it already written in my stars???

I was 5 years old when my parents divorce was finalized. My father remarried shortly thereafter as his mistress was pregnant with my new baby brother. Young and clueless as to the details and heartache my mother had endured and kept hidden from my older brother, older sister and I , we anxiously awaited the day to come, this day that we were to meet our new additional family. Lori, our step mother had two children at this time. Jennifer and Jason Belair. My Dad did not marry her until two years later so she kept her name as Lori Belair until 1988. Their divorce was finalized in 1992.

Tom Lloyd

My daughters have two school friends. Both have the first and middle names Roseanna Poppy. This is not the normal spelling of Rosanna. Both were born on the same day.

Message from Mars

Roughly fifty years ago I took the back off our valve radio and I removed and cleaned the dust off the valves and the rest of the chassis etc. When I put the valves back in and was about to switch it on either my mother or myself said maybe we will get a message from Mars now. When I switched the radio on the first words from the speaker were "Mars calling, Mars calling". My mother and I were speechless. I do not expect anyone to actually believe this but it did happen.

Mr Dobbs

What is the chance of meeting someone exactly 100 years older than yourself ....... to the day!!!? My 3 day old daughter did when my next patient came down the corridor who needed her hip fixing after falling over on her 100th birthday the exact day my daughter was born. My 3 day old met my 100 year and 3 day old patient. Neither can recall the incident. But it still amazing the coincidence.

Chance encounter

In 1984, my friend - Kenny Mundie - and I were colleagues who worked night shift. One afternoon, Kenny picked me up and we drove into town. As we drove, Kenny mentioned a friend of his called Abbie Copeland whom he was convinced I must know. I said I didn't know Abbie, but I mentioned that I had heard of him from a friend of mine called Mike Geddes. Kenny said that he didn't know Mike, but I was adamant that he must know Mike. We were still debating the matter when we stopped behind a Ford Transit van at a set of traffic lights.

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