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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foreshadowing of near-death experience

in 2016 I started to see my birthday, 12/08 everywhere. I'd see it in the time, in other ways too. I remember one time I walked into target with my boyfriend and the time on all the clocks they were selling read 12:08. I always just kind of brushed it off or made jokes about it, but something about it made me feel uneasy. In July of 2016 my bf and I were on our way to a festival in PA.

CRUISE CONNECTION

For the 2017/2018 New Years, I decided to book a 4 day cruise on Carnival Inspiration leaving out of Long Beach, CA. Had a wonderful time and then returned to my home in the Las Vegas area (Henderson, NV) afterwards. About 250 miles away from Long Beach. On 1/6/18, I decided to play table games at the M Resort in Henderson and was playing a Texas Holdem table game. This is against the house and known as a "carnival" game. The dealer was killing us and all the other players had walked off.

Registration coincidence

a few years ago our car was sat in traffic the car in front was a ford fiesta, the same model fiesta as ours. it had the same 3 registration letters and year letter, the 3 digit number was 1 number lower than ours.

The Milton Train Crash in 1955

My grandfather was a GP in a village a few miles away at the time & also did all his own dispensing & had to order drugs himself. He had a patient with terminal cancer & ordered ten ampoules of morphine. When the drugs arrived at his surgery there were one hundred ampoules of morphine & he was furious because it was it was a dangerous (and expensive) error. That afternoon he was summoned to a terrible train crash where many died & over 150 people were injured. Many were trapped in the wreckage. He used every single ampoule of morphine that afternoon.

Last Pay Check

After the thanksgiving weekend of 2016, my entire team at company A was informed that one of two products we were working on would be shelved. I saw this as a bad sign and an inevitable RIF. I decided to change my job. I started working for Company B in Feb 2017. My former coworkers however continued with the previous employer because one out of the two products was still in production.

London is a big city

Some years ago my young niece visited England and I spent four days showing her the tourist sights in London. On the third day we were waiting for the underground at Oxford Circus station and she asked whether I knew anyone in London, and whether I would be surprised if we bumped into someone I knew. As I was answering, a train pulled into the station, the doors open, and the first man to step out was an old friend from Cambridge, who introduced himself with a "Hi Colin - how are you?".

Birthday Coincidence

We lived in Tooting London. The daughter of the family next door had the same birthday as our daughter. We moved to Beverley East Yorkshire. A new family moved in next door and the daughter had the same birthday as our daughter.

Doubly Fatal

Yet another coincidence I noted between real life and tv today.<br /> Currently there is an advert running on tv referring to how unique the '3.5 billion women' are on our planet.<br /> I remarked to my other that she had once mentioned how someone she knew had seen someone in Geneva who was a doppleganger for my other.

Meeting a Stranger

Six months ago, a man and his daughters came into church and sat next to me. Our congregation is a large crowd, like 2000 people or so. I recall thinking he was handsome. Now months later, I joined a dating site and began chatting with another member and asked where he goes to church. We attend the same church, same service (our church has 3 per Sunday). I took another look at his pics and suddenly realize it's the same man I'd sat next to that day.

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