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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Midas Touch

Last night I was watching Forensic Detectives,which is an Australian Police series which follows real cases. For some reason the song 'Midas Touch' came into my head,which I began to sing. On the TV programme,the police detective explained that the name given to the series of investigations they were doing was 'Operation Midas'! Either it was a bizarre coincidence,or I had just found the reason why the song came into my head!

Book coincidence

I was reading a book in which one of the characters lived in Toronto. A month later I was going to work, stopped at a crossroad, and saw a bicycle – a Toronto model. Later that day I read an article, whose author was a professor at the University of Toronto, among others. At first, this coincidence intrigued me because I was thinking a lot about that character and his role in the book. If I haven’t noticed the bicycle on the crossroad, I wouldn’t probably notice where the author of the article worked. So, I guess, it is us who give a meaning to coincidence we experience.

Greek chance

In the summer of 1980 my brother and his girlfriend flew to the Greek Islands for a 2 week holiday. Several days after they left for Greece, I rang a travel agent looking for a last minute holiday to anywhere on the Continent .He rang back to say he had a last minute offer of a flight only to Corfu and I took I took the offer. Several days after arriving in Corfu, I flew to Athens and several days later took a ferry to the the island of Ios in the Aegean.

Baby switch

There's a family in my village whose baby was switched with another baby at the hospital. They only found out this when the child had a heart condition and they were not compatible with her (this was when she was around 7 years old). Although they decided not to tell her anything, two decades later they were contacted by the other family. Their daughter was also diagnosed with a heart condition and they decided to find their biological daughter. They contacted the hospital and managed to meet with the family from my village. Both daughters stayed with the family that raised them.

The wrong side of a love song

I have a few coincidences in this story but they are all surrounding the same event. When I was 14 I met William he was 15. We dated for about 6 months and then I got shipped off from Seattle to San Francisco and that was the last time I saw him. I was on facebook one day and I remembered him and I looked him up. We talked and we agreed to meet and we started dating again. He relocated for me and we lived together for a short 7 months. I was and still am so in love with him I feel like he is my soulmate. He found out that he had a daughter and he moved back to Seattle and left me.

Water Slide

Yesterday,whilst watching Youtube videos, one of the videos that came up in the suggested to watch list was about the 10 highest water slides,some of which had been closed due to being aged or not complying with modern safety regulations or because someone had been killed on them. Water slide theme park rides are not something I'd normally be interested in,I nominally watch music/science videos or hassle those who post conspiracy/ufo content, but for some reason this video took my attention. Today,the front page of the paper relates the story of an 11 yr old girl killed on a water sl

Daily word synchronicities

On a daily or more than daily basis when reading, writing emails or notes, or playing word games on my computer or phone, I hear the same word or phrase being spoken on TV it the radio, or even in person with a friend or family member. For instance, while driving in my car, I heard, "school bus stop" on the radio at the same time I was reading a road sign with the same words, "School Bus Stop".

Chance Encounter?

I met Tia towards the end of 2011. After quite a few back and forth texts and phone conversations, she invited me over to her place. Very early in our growing friendship and one day while hanging out with her at her place, she asked me to share a story of my travels with her. The story below is of me sharing my story with Tia. Turn's out it wasn't just a story about me, but of Tia and I both. PART 1 I began my story with Tia of my adventures before I joind the army. I was 17/18 and had joined a traveling carnival/midway in Texas. I had got hired on with a friend.

Birthday coincidence

Mine and my children's birthdays are in different months but the dates descend by one for each of us: Myself 22nd, eldest child 21st, middle child 20th, youngest child 19th


I used to have a good friend, and yesterday she happened to come up in conversation with two people- about how we had a big falling out and i was still sad about it hoping it would rekindle, and about how she hadn't contacted me since and i never thought she would again. last night she texted me a very long paragraph. also, i had a dream about having a UTI. I woke up with a UTI. o