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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unintentional stalker

I went to a printing workshop in a local independently run class in Sheffield UK. There were 10 people in the class. I got chatting to the woman opposite me. She was Austrian and it turned out she was a good friend of my cousin who is also Austrian and lived in Vienna. She also had a studio in the arts centre where I worked and when she gave me her business card I saw that she also lived in the same house I lived in 20 years previously. We were both more than a little incredulous and suspicious, both believing the other to be making it up.

life and death

Okay so this is the strangeness of my life. May 6th- my friend Steve's birthday also the day my friend Dylan died when we were 16. July 18th- my friend steve(mentioned above) passed away when we were 18, also my friend Annie's birthday and my aunt rhondas birthday. October 4th- my brother committed suicide and two of my very good friends birthdays. October 27th- my boyfriends birthday also the day of my fathers stroke and grandpas death.

Voodoo coincidence or anxiety?

I was really worried about something that I won't explain here. So I started overthinking like I usually do and my mind went to catch all unreasonable things that I could imagine for what I was worried about. So I started reading something about paranormal activities and voodoo and at the same time I received a message on a WhatsApp group about someone who was talking about voodoo rites (she was talking about it just for fun). Like you can imagine I thought there was a paranormal reason for that coincidence. I know, I'm a bit anxious!

My cousin Erik and my fiance

I had just moved back to fresno california in 1997 from San Jose, Ca. I started working at software company in Fresno and met a girl named Michelle who also worked at the software company. After a year I moved on to work for the county then many other jobs. In 2012 I connecged with Michelle again and we started dating. We were engaged to be married in 2014. My cousin Erik with whom I am very close to, his life seemed to go a different direction. He was in prison, again and was not going to be attending any wedding anytime soon.

Circles of life

I have two daughters, Mazzy and Mia. Mia was 9 and Mazzy was 11 at the time of this coincidence. My wife and I divorced and the girls live with her across town in the city of Clovis that is directly connected to the larger city of Fresno which I live in. One day my cousins girlfriend came by my place with her two daughters. We were waiting for my cousin to arrive when her youngest daughter, Lily pointed at a picture in my apartment and said "I know her". She was pkinting to a picture of my daughter Mia. I asked how she knew her she said shes my friend at school.

My second wife

When I was growing up and in elementary school I made a friend named George. George lived close by the school we attended and I woukd iften go to his house after school to play. This went on from 5th grade through bigh school 10 years old thru 18yrs old. At 31 I met and married a Katie, who was only 20 years old. We had two girls and were married for 6 years. One day Katie and I were near her old house that she grew up in when i said I wanted to see it. We were also near my old elementary school and i was interested to see.

From Malmo Sweden to Fresno Ca

I was born in RI, US in 1972. In 1973 my mom moved to Malmo Sweden to be with my Dad. We lived there almost 1 year before returning to the US. We lived in Sweden again for a few years then all around the US before settling in my moms hometown of Fresno, Ca. When I was 22 years old I met my first wife a bartending school in Fresno, Ca. She was born in Malmo Sweden in 1973. I have many other bizzare occurances ill post after this one.

The Matrix

The expiration date on Mr. Anderson's ID in the movie The Matrix was 09-11-01.

Rings on their fingers....

Yesterday my brother called and told me he had found a music track I had been trying to find for decades - Follow Me by Amanda Lear. He had also mentioned '7 years in Tibet' the film with Brad Pitt. In watching the videom I remarked that Paul O'Grady as Lily Savage might have been able to do a good version of it as the song is done in a camp style. After he left,Judge John Deeds was on TV which featured Simon Ward. I remarked to my partner that Simon looked like Martin Jarvis from the series "Rings on their fingers".

Fly in the Ointment

I was just doing some work on the mp3s I made of my on music - one of which is based on the Sci Fi classic 'The Fly' -the track is called 'Fly in the Ointment'. Later this evening I went back to the online version of the newspaper,and started reading it from the back to the front,as I had already read the major part of it this morning. In the sports section,which I usually omit,when reading the paper from the beginning,was an article about Italian striker Andrea Belotti which referred to him being stung. The article was entitled 'Fly in the ointment for puffed up An

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