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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There are no "COINCIDENTS"

I had a NDE in 1977, wrote about it in my book, A Second in Eternity, and realized there are no such things as coincidences. Everything comes about due to "Cause and Effect" even though we may not grasp what that "cause and effect" relationship is or was. Accidents and coincidences do not exist, even though I checked all "meaningful matches" below.

Miss Pye

Pregnant with my second child in 1972, my husband and I looked for a house to buy. By chance, we ended up buying 18 Lansdowne Road, Chatham from the people who bought it from my parents in 1952 when I was five years old. I was born in that house in 1947, a home birth. I was due to have a home birth too, my midwife Mrs Nobbs was off duty the day I went into labour so the second midwife, Miss Pye, delivered me of our son. When my mother visited she told me that Miss Pye had delivered her of me, in the same bedroom, 25 years before!

Mathematician and metro

I usually carry a few books to read while travelling. That day I had three books with me. One was about mathematicians, other one was a novel and another on nature. I preferred the novel the most usually to read while on metro trains. That one day, I picked the book about Mathematicians. The book name is mathematical universe. I scrolled down the contents randomly and decided to read the Russell's paradox chapter. I started reading slowly the introduction part. I came to one particular part, "..Bertrand Arthur William Russell died on second of February, 1970.." Lo and behold, I felt crazy! Why? Because that day was 2nd February! (though the year was 2020).

Breakfast & the Mentalist

Never do I go out to eat breakfast. But that one day I was asked to parcel Semya (food name) by my sister who had come to visit us after a long time. The place where I went to pack the breakfast has a token system. My token number was 43. After I came back home, had some breakfast with my sister and bid her a goodbye, I switched on Mentalist. It was recommended by my sister. I scrolled down a few episodes, picked some random episode and clicked on it. Then and there my heart went bam! There was a scene where the person who was lying dead on floor had number '43' written on their hand! What are the chances that I would see the number 43 twice in such short duration and at such odd places! P.S If its not number 43 it must be some other number. But I am 100 percent sure it was the same number in both these places (breakfast shop token number and the number on dead person's hand in mentalist)

The Starfish Arrives

Many years ago, I traveled to Egypt with my sister. This was a trip that had many adventures, many highs and many lows. There were also several interesting coincidences. The most coincidental coincidence occurred in Cairo, near the great pyramids and the Sphinx. In a cab on our way to the historical landmark, for some reason we were discussing what animal we could be, if we could be any animal in the world. After I dimly suggested I would be a lion, my sister answered that she would be a starfish. "Why a starfish?" I asked. "I think because they seem so peaceful, as they float through the ocean." Interesting, I thought. A couple days later, we were in a bad spot. I had lost something of value the night before, and I was desperately trying to find it. A cabbie pulled over in the middle of the road, when he saw us frantically arguing about it. He offered to help. The item, though was lost at a bar, and none of the bars were opened.

Birth/Death Family age coincidence

My Grandmother was 45 when my father was born in 1908. When she died in 1953 at the age of 90, my father was 45. My father was 45 when I was born in 1953. When he died in 1998 at the age of 90, I was 45.

grandsons

I was at school in the early 1960s with Eric and Chris, and we stayed in touch over the years. In our mid-60s we all became grandfathers - in the same month; we all had grandsons - and my grandson and Chris's grandson were born on the same ward of a London hospital.

Same apartment

I planned to move to Sydney from Canberra to pursue a career in magazines. It was very difficult to even get an interview with a Canberra-based home address. My partner, who knew of my magazine career aspirations, had already moved into a nice two bedroom apartment in Wollstonecraft on Sydney's lower north shore. To understand the magazine business and perhaps build contacts, I interviewed three editors for a newspaper feature article. One of them edited Total Girl, a magazine for tween girls. When a job was advertised at Total Girl, I excitedly applied, putting in the address of my partner’s apartment in Wollstonecraft where I would soon join him. At my job interview the editor told me she stopped cold when she saw the address and even rang her husband to check: she and he had lived there, in the same apartment, many years before. Years down the track I became editor of Total Girl and in its history, there haven’t been very many editors. But two of them would live, at different times, in the same Sydney apartment.

Matching names

I always have a “Yusef”, “Yosef”, “Yusuf” in my life, at any given time, however, there’s never more than one in my life at the same time. None of them share the same ethnic background.

Born at exact same time

Both my children were born at 8:08 pm Different dates and year though.

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