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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Wrong Name, Right Place, Right Time

At the age of 18, one week after high school graduation, I boarded a bus from Pasadena, CA, to Daytona Beach, FL, hoping to find a childhood buddy of mine, Doug. I wore Dolphin shorts, a tank top, high top shoes, and a headband onto the bus. I stowed my backpack with the luggage. The bus broke down in the South (Louisiana, I think), and we were transferred to another bus. When I arrived in Daytona, my luggage didn't arrive with me.

Time to wake up!

For almost a decade, I used to wake up every other day or so exactly at 6:32 in the morning (checked in the digital o'clock nearby). Maybe there is a physiological (extreme regularity, which knowing myself I hardly believe) or psychological factor (like remembering only the favorable events) going on here, but it was a very weird period for me. Now it is gone.

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A unexpected Sighting

I live in the Midwest. During the month of May, my son and I visited my Cousin and her family for a Month in the Orlando area. We spent a day at Disney World. I was certain that I saw my Endocrinologist walk right past me. How could that be? She lives 1,200 miles away! 5 days after my return, I had an appointment. Yes, it was her. She and her family were at Disney World that day. Very weird!

My son's birthday

I went into labor on July 22, 2002. My son was born 29 hours later on July 23 at 1254 PM. The same birthdate as his deceased Paternal Grandfather. It was certainly an extra special day for his father's family!

Cousins

When I was living in Lilongwe I had a carpool with a certain person. When I moved to Oxford this person's cousin was in my tutor group.

The Planet Vulcan

I went through about a year period of time where I was posting in a local internet forum and I would randomly bring up a topic or a theory I had or anything really, and within a week or two, sometimes days, something directly related to it would happen in the real world. This could be in the form of an article on a mainstream newsite coming out related to it, which most of the time I would find by accident. One of the single craziest ones was while I was doing some reading about ancient gods, I came across the Roman god Vulcan (2018-09-15 ), who I had never heard of.

Place I live

My parents lived in Australia 1968-71 and my eldest brother was born there, they then returned to England and settled in Derby in a suburb named Chaddesden where I was born. Several years after moving there my mother was looking through photos of Australia and found a picture of my brother standing next to the mail boxes of the block of flats they lived in (204 The Avenue, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria) in the background was the entrance to the block of flats and the name above the door was Chaddesden. My parents had never realised and only called it by the number and road name.

Headphones

I have so many however this one happened recently. I bought a Crown headphone and the woman who owns the company ran off with my money. I was devastated. 2 wks later a man emailed me, not related or knows of the other Crown headphone company, and said he wants to make me a new best one crown headphone set of my choice. I Sussex him out, found him legit, he made me the headphones of my choice and sent it to me. He had NO idea of my previous trauma with another crown headphone company.

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