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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Sisters to the Power of Cubed

One of three sisters, who came to live in a house on Three Sisters Road, Long Island, became the mother of three girls.


The biggest coincidence I have experienced occurred when I was about 16 or 17 years of age. I am now 73. On the evening that it occurred a teenage friend of mine and I planned to go out together, and we visited his sister’s house for the purpose, as I recall it, of enabling him to have a bath. While I was waiting for my friend I sat down in the lounge of his sister’s house and. to while the time away, began flicking through a publication that I think was entitled ‘A Pictorial History of the Second World War’* or something similar.

Multiple choice

I used to play golf with a chap called Dave whose long term partner's name was Carol. Dave's sister was also called Carol and her husband's name was David, whilst Carol's brother's name was David and he was married to a Carol too. MY David and Carol had two children and continued the family tradition by naming them Carol and David. I've lost contact with him now but last time I saw him the two teenagers were respectively engaged to a David and going out with a Carol. Family gatherings must have been very confusing.

Peter and Joan.

Whilst on Madeira in1994 we with four others went on a Jeep Safari. One of the other couples were PETER and JOAN from Clitheroe in Lancashire. Joan worked at a doctors surgery. We got quite friendly with them. Fast forward to 2007. We are on holiday in Scotland and arrive in Oban from Mull looking for accommodation at the Tourist Information Office. They direct us to a guesthouse further inland which has only that week started taking visitors. That night we decide to dine in. At dinner we meet the only other guests a couple who are staying just the one night.

Dr David James

I was standing outside a sweet shop when 'The Candyman' song from Willy Wonka (perhaps not unnaturally) popped into my head. Walking into a shop five minutes down the road the same song was being played over the tannoy.

Sibling/friend search

At approximately 2pm 06-23-17, I began searching the internet for some old family friends of ours that used to live next door to us. Their family consisted of mom, dad and two daughters. My brother, who is 10 yrs older than I, was friends with the 2 daughters. Their father helped me get a job at a local store around the age of 17. I am now 40 and my brother is 50. My brother now lives about 500 miles north of me. We see each other about once or twice a year and are not super close. My brother moved out of the house between 18 to 20 yrs old.

Same Two Songs.

Alright so this might not be as amazing as I think it is but here we go. Many years ago, around 2012-2015 all I listened to was this beautiful but sad Pandora station that played piano music. I usually let it play in the background of what I was doing but for some reason whenever this one song would come on I'd always take a look to see where this beautiful music came from and the album cover was always from the movie "Amélie". I had never heard of this movie nor did I ever pay attention to the name of the piece but I promised myself that I'd one day watch this movie.

I hate my life

Seems like my life is being run by a fairy tale. I read a book i become the book in real life i watch a television series i become the series i watch a movie i become the movie and if i don't watch the next episode or pause the movie/video etc. My life will predict it's future without me knowing anything about the future part of whatever entertaining media i have been watching. I say something especially with the help of god and it happend, frequently, just right after i say it.

A Deceased Mother and the Hummingbird

Everything here is true, but I changed the woman's name for privacy reasons. In 2012 I became acquainted with a woman through the salon she owned. As a client, I saw her once every 4-6 weeks. Our conversations were typical small talk; we never socialized outside the salon. I had only known her a few months when the first coincidence occurred. I woke up around 2 a.m. with a very specific visual image followed by a very specific thought concerning the owner of the salon. I had an overwhelming feeling I was suppose to write it down so I would remember to ask her.