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


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!

Ghosts from the past

I moved to Sweden from England 44 years ago and worked for a while as a postdoc at a university here. 7 years ago I was taken ill and spent some time in hospital, partly in the care of a doctor who turned out to be the daughter of the professor I worked with all that time ago. As if that was not enough, the person in the next bed had a visit from a niece-by-partnership. The visitor recognized me in the next bed: she had worked as a laboratory assistant for the very same professor when I first started here. We had not had any contact for at least 40 years.

World Hockey League

Met Tom in 2003 and work closely with him...Tom played in the World Hockey League 1991-1992 season...his daughter now plays Youth Hockey and Tom coaches...she also collects player cards...similar to baseball cards....now the WHL is not a Major league but they did have player cards rare in and of itself....Tom collected cards and has thousands, he went to find his old card from the WHL to share with his daughter....on top of his card he discovered the card on top was for one Scott Lindsay....so here is the coincidence....my name is Scott Lindsay....today he gave me the card...so strangely Tom a

A Message Of Understanding

Last evening I heard some disturbing news that a former colleague and friend had suddenly passed away unexpectedly. We used to get together every month or so for a study group or to relax with a lovely meal and conversation. Over the years, we went our separate ways with new jobs and raising our families and a life altering incident which created a (self perceived) rift within our group. I was feeling some sadness at this sudden loss of life in someone who was so vibrant and dynamic.

Crick in the neck

One morning my friend wrote me about a crick she had developed in her neck and asked how she might treat it. Later that day, around 330pm, I was watching an episode of Hell's Kitchen in which a chef contestant named Jonathan developed a crick in his neck and couldn't help the others with preparation for supper. Then later that night, around 5pm, I watched as my son practised Jiu jitsu in class, and had his neck twisted hard enough for him to cry and need the application of ice. He had a stiff neck that evening.

Lucky Conversation

It is early morning, one day in Spring 1969. I am ten years old and it is a big day in our family. I am going, with my parents, to the school where I recently sat the entrance exam. In a couple of hours, I will have an interview with the headmistress.

Random calls from 2 people of my Past from same time period

I received a very random text from a women I did a yoga training from 12 years ago. The text was a mistake she was looking for a different Nancy in her life and then she accidental called me. The same day I received a facetime call from a teacher of yoga from that time period. This call was very random and not a number I have in my phone and it was also from Australia and not the US where I reside. I ignored it and went on about my life, later that evening I got a weird text from that teacher asking why I had called him. I re-looked at my phone and it was a definite incoming call.

Random calls from 2 people of my Past from same time period

I received a very random text from a women I did a yoga training from 12 years ago. The text was a mistake she was looking for a different Nancy in her life and then she accidental called me. The same day I received a facetime call from a teacher of yoga from that time period. This call was very random and not a number I have in my phone and it was also from Australia and not the US where I reside. I ignored it and went on about my life, later that evening I got a weird text from that teacher asking why I had called him. I re-looked at my phone and it was a definite incoming call.

Mexico Argentina connections

In 1999, my business partner and I opened an office in Mexico City. Almost immediately I was hired to work on a full time consulting job to overhaul a company in the northern city of Saltillo, near the Texas border. I left my partner in charge of the Mexico City office, and one of the first things he did was hire an assistant. She was very competent but (and this is germaine to the story) had no prior experience or contacts in our industry. Meanwhile in Saltillo, I was having trouble filling positions.

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