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.



Vertical Tabs


Meeting an unknown half sister

This story starts in a very small town in Spain. 45 years ago my mum lived in this little town and was married to my dad, but had an affair with an old love. A couple of months later she finds out she's pregnant and she doesn't know who the father is. She shares her doubts with her lover but decides to believe that this baby, who would then be me, is her husband's (I didn't know anything about this). This lover of her, who now lived in a different city, 650km away from my mother's, gets married and has two daughters. I never heard of him or them.

3 relatives die on sane day, different years

My brother-inlaw’s mom died in 1971; my dad’s mom died in 1989; my mom died in 2014. They all died on May 25th, just different years.

Unlikely Meeting

When I was a freshman in college, I worked as a tennis instructor during my summer break back in my hometown. I worked with a girl named Tara, who I met once before when we happened to play against each other in high school. We worked as tennis instructors for the summer, then went back to each of our respected universities and never had contact again...until two years later. During my junior year I decided to study abroad in Wollongong, Australia.

Same name, friends

So I was texting with this person on an app called Wattpad and we had the same name no big deal. But then we talked a little more and turns out they had a best friend with the same name as mine. A little strange. Then I asked about some people I knew, and they described them just how I know them. It started to creep me out. So they told me their husband's name, and that boy goes to my school and I don't like him. Then I asked what sports have they played, and they said soccer. I have played soccer. And then I asked if they knew a person who I knew was moving in seventh grade.

dreams of dead people

I've also had the same dream as a few other acquaintances about a friend of ours who died, but that was not at the same time. still, i heard about someone else having that dream after i did, so don't think it was just influenced from hearing about it, and then my other friend said an acquaintance, who probably wouldn't have heard about the dream from either of us, also had a similar dream about him Also, i've read about someone having the same/very similar dream as me about dead musicians twice.

mutual dreaming

I've had 4 mutual dreams that I know of. I'll summarize them below. Feel free to ask any questions :) Sorry if it's a long (and boring) read 1.) The first one i had was when i was 15 and i was sleeping over a friend's house before i was about to move away to another part of the country. we had always talked about writing a comic book together, but we never did it. so in my dream, we were "building" like a comic book together (but i guess it was more like a movie). We didn't see each other, it was just like we had disembodied voices.

Chased down by Mr. Mister

Yesterday I was in a local charity store. The 1983 song "Kyrie" by Mr Mister was playing in-store on the radio. I thought to myself that it was a good song that I hadn't heard in years,and made a mental note to download it when I got home. I noticed there seemed to be some ''new" arrivals in their crate of vinyl records and started flicking through them (all the while, song still playing on the radio...) and the third album in the crate was"Welcome to the Real World" by Mr.Mister, featuring"Kyrie"

House and school coincidence

Coincidence We bought a house from a very nice family about 8 years ago. We shared a celebratory drink on completion and then didn't see them again. This year my daughter is going 70 miles away to boarding school (about 1000 pupils). She is joining in the second year and went to meet the 12 girls of her year that are in her house.

Did I find the wrong one first?

In 2010 I moved to Chicago. In 2011 I met Neil, born June 19, who would become my boyfriend for the next two years. Also in 2011, I met Lauren, who became a fast friend and remains so to this day. One year ago, in August of 2017, I met Lauren's brother for the first time in DC while he and Lauren and their family were vacationing in DC (where I currently live until I graduate in December), Neal, born June 20, who became my boyfriend and has been for the last year. So I dated two men with the same name, slightly different spellings, and birthdays one day apart who are both from Chicago.

Jurassic Dog

Last night we took ourselves out to the cinema to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I was suggesting to my brother that it would be funny if someone had dressed up as a velociraptor and frighten all the cinema audience,just as some guy had done online by dressing his dog as a giant spider on youtube. Just at that moment,the ads on the cinema screen for Amazon echo-dot featured a family with a dog dressed as a dinosaur!

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