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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Sibling/friend search

At approximately 2pm 06-23-17, I began searching the internet for some old family friends of ours that used to live next door to us. Their family consisted of mom, dad and two daughters. My brother, who is 10 yrs older than I, was friends with the 2 daughters. Their father helped me get a job at a local store around the age of 17. I am now 40 and my brother is 50. My brother now lives about 500 miles north of me. We see each other about once or twice a year and are not super close. My brother moved out of the house between 18 to 20 yrs old.

Same Two Songs.

Alright so this might not be as amazing as I think it is but here we go. Many years ago, around 2012-2015 all I listened to was this beautiful but sad Pandora station that played piano music. I usually let it play in the background of what I was doing but for some reason whenever this one song would come on I'd always take a look to see where this beautiful music came from and the album cover was always from the movie "Amélie". I had never heard of this movie nor did I ever pay attention to the name of the piece but I promised myself that I'd one day watch this movie.

I hate my life

Seems like my life is being run by a fairy tale. I read a book i become the book in real life i watch a television series i become the series i watch a movie i become the movie and if i don't watch the next episode or pause the movie/video etc. My life will predict it's future without me knowing anything about the future part of whatever entertaining media i have been watching. I say something especially with the help of god and it happend, frequently, just right after i say it.

A Deceased Mother and the Hummingbird

Everything here is true, but I changed the woman's name for privacy reasons. In 2012 I became acquainted with a woman through the salon she owned. As a client, I saw her once every 4-6 weeks. Our conversations were typical small talk; we never socialized outside the salon. I had only known her a few months when the first coincidence occurred. I woke up around 2 a.m. with a very specific visual image followed by a very specific thought concerning the owner of the salon. I had an overwhelming feeling I was suppose to write it down so I would remember to ask her.

Same situation, same post

On a holiday flight to Cyprus (October 78) chat to man in next seat - surname Botham (like famous cricketer but pronounced differently) - who was ex RAF having served in Cyprus and is bursar at small Welsh private school. On return flight from LA (July 79) sat next to couple flying back from Hawaii - get chatting and he too is ex RAF having served in Cyprus and is bursar at small Welsh private school! Having explained the coincidence to him it turns out that Mr Botham had retired after mild heart attack and he is his replacement.

Two acts of God

On holiday in Gran Canaria in October 1983 kept meeting same Belgian couple - on two day trips and in the Casino on the final night of their holiday. Joke that we can't keep meeting like this. My partner and I never go to same place on holiday twice and neither did they but they always went the same week when they closed their small patisserie in Brussels. One year and two weeks later we met each other again - in Gran Canaria!.

Mutual friend coincidence

I was making polite conversation with a male co-worker from the large London open plan office we both work in whilst the kettle boiled in the shared kitchen where I work. Gazing out of the window at the sunny day we remarked how glorious it was and that it was only going to get better over the weekend. I mentioned I was going to Strasbourg the next day. ‘That’s funny’ the man said, ‘my mother is also going to Strasbourg tomorrow’.

I'm keeping my son off the road the second Tuesday in June!!

Two nights ago, Tuesday, June 13, my 16-year old son hydroplaned his car during a storm taking a left in an intersection. He went off the road smashing his car into a mailbox and a parked truck. Thankfully he and no one else was injured. The car was towed and may be totaled.<br /> Yesterday we realized it was the exact same day (the second Tuesday in June) that he was involved in a golf cart accident the year before.<br /> Last year our family went to Ocean Isle beach, NC. June 11-18. My son was 15 and had his driving permit.

Poetic coincidence

I have been a member of a small poetry group in London for 15 years. Membership has changed over that time but in total about 40 poets have been involved in the group at some stage. I discovered that one of the other members was born on the same day as me (same day, month and year) in South Africa. I was born in the UK. I wondered what were the chances of two people born on the same day in different countries becoming members of the same group in later life, through shared interests. Besides being poets we have also both been screenwriters.

The number 8

My husband, son, daughter and I have birthdays which are 8 days apart from the next. My son's birthday is the 5th, mine is the 13th, my daughter is the 21st and my husband is the 29th.