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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The Familiar Looking “girl”

Few months ago I took a transfer student test for a private high school that not a lot of people know about. As I took a seat in the classroom, a girl with short hair who looked familiar sat in front of me. After I finished the test, I walked out of the classroom and saw my mom talking to a woman around her age, the familiar looking girl was standing next to them. My mom waved at me and said “Do you remember Albert from first grade?

Surprise connections with a new friend

I met this guy at uni through a friend and I got to know him quite well. He lived in the city and I lived an hour away out on the suburbs. It turned out I used to dance with his sister, which I didn't think anything of until a few weeks later. I was at home and I didn't even need to go grocery shopping, as we had a full pantry at home but I went anyway. As I was driving to the shops I thought, imagine if I saw this guy around in my suburb even though he lives an hour away. I get to the shops and he happens to be there buying sushi and it really took me by surprise!

Motion picture coincidence

During math class I questioned Steven: what is/has been a motion picture you've always cherished? To my astonishment, it was soon revealed that Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: the secret service was the one we both liked!

birthdays etc

surprising repetition, friends, family, boyfriends, kids of friends have shared the same birth date as my kids and family but i have never met someone ever that has my birthday (only know of but have never met) birthday coincidence's; father...boyfriend/friends; mother..my great nephew her great grandson; brother...my best female friend of almost 40 yrs; sister...another best female friend of over 25 years;my oldest daughter...my great nephew, kid of old high school friend; my second oldest daughter...her cousin from dads side, my ex brother in law, kids of old high school friends; my you

Meet my friend without planning

One of my best friend and I were separated into different school since we graduated from the same middle school. One night right after when I finished the clam school, I walked the different route to the Zhisan-MRT station and I met that friend without planning with that friend. He also just finished his sports club and on the way home. We were so busy in different school and didn't have time to contact each other and so on. We just bumped into each other at the SOGO department.

mutual friends in Huaxing.

My classmate Devin and I both studied in Huaxing before but different period of time. I was in Huaxing elementary school and he was in Huaxing junior high School. Although we were not in the same class at the same period of time, but we both have some mutual friends in Huaxing. Now we are also classmates in Kueishan.

Food coincidence

Both my high school classmate and I don't like the spicy food.

Meeting my First Friend

When I was in the first day of my first grade, i started talking to the boy sitting next to me, and we soon become my first friend in elementary school. The next day, when i went to my english cram school, i found out my first friend was also studying here, after we know each other better, we realize that our birthday is only one day diffrerent, therefore we are also born in the same hospital.

Living in the same area

I live in San Chong, as the school is pretty far from where I assumed that there will be no one living in the same area as I lived in. Recently I saw one of my schoolmates often in the same mrt as I was and I was curious so I asked him, this is when I realize we live in the same area and mrt station. Such a coincidence.

birthday coincidence

once when i was in primary school in slovakia, we played this game where we had to state something about ourselves which we think is special and unique. if someone else had anything which is the same as what you stated, that certain someone gets to sit on your lap. there was this one boy who said that his birthday was on the 7th of december, 2002, which is the same birthday as me. however, i didn't say anything since i didn't want to sit on his lap.

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