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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PIGEON-TOED, TWICE-SIGHTED

My friend who NEVER comes to see me came to my house and in our conversation, made mention was her husband who is pigeon-toed (and whom I am always defending against her verbal accusations against him). After much faulting him (about not taking physical care of himself), she yelled out, “He can barely even walk!” My response was, “Because he’s pigeon-toed…” (and NOT lazy, as was her hostile belief). The next day I see a homeless man in sandals, barely able to walk. It was a sign. So I buy him a pair of shoes. Later after leaving HER house (in having attempted to visit her so to tell of the eerie coincidence, only she was still at work so the visit did NOT happen), I see a younger boy, late teens, also pigeon-toed, but walking better than the first sighting of the homeless man. Thank you for reading this.

The Other Dianna

In 2014 I was going to take a train from Ardmore Oklahoma to Fort Worth Texas to visit a friend of mine. My friend had purchase my ticket online and emailed my ticket confirmation number. On the morning of my departure my husband drove me to the train station. That way I did not have to leave my car parked at the train station. Neither of us had ever taken the train before, so we were unsure on how to proceed. Did we need to get my ticket printed? Should we wait for the train to arrive? We had no idea. As we pulled into a parking spot I noticed an older Ford pickup pull up to the right of us. An older man and woman occupied the truck. The man was driving and woman was practically leaned into the windshield. I suffer from anxiety and for whatever reason a couple in the pickup truck set my anxiety off. I told my husband the back out it's at trucks just didn't seem right it was causing me to have an anxiety attack. I put it in reverse I noticed that the truck began to back out. I told my husband never mind. He put the car in park and we got out of our car and went into the train depot. We didn't see anyone but we heard the train approaching.

Job Opening and New Friend

My husband and I live in Toronto- a city of close to 3 million people. Five months ago we went to an arranged meetup, where we spent some time talking to a man who had a similar job role as me, but in a different company. Recently, a former colleague who live in Australia got in touch and asked if I might be interested in opportunities at his company. My husband mentioned that the man we talked to at the meetup also worked for that company, so I looked him up and we had a chat. It turns out that one of the positions that my former colleague had in mind for me was the man from the meetup's job as he had just left this company!

40 years later

While holidaying in France my husband wanted to show me a house of a Swiss friend of a friend in a village in which he'd spent a memorable time in his youth some 40 years ago. We got lost on the way and had difficulties finding parking space. After getting out of the car, I walked ahead and entered the village by one road but my husband said that we should turn around and take the other parallel road, which was closer to the house. To his disappointment, however, he couldn't recall which of a small row of houses it had been. We stood there for some time, but he finally gave up and we decided to explore the village. Just then, a priest in a cassock appeared ahead of us, followed by a cat close at his heels. We turned to watch that unlikely couple walk by and, at that very moment, saw a woman leave one of the houses my husband had been looking at and enter a car. My husband thought he recognised her and immediately ran back: it turned out to be one of the original owners who was just about to return to Switzerland after a short stay at the house.

Deadly neighbours

I recently moved into a new apartment. When putting my name label on the door, I noticed that of my neighbour. I kept thinking I know that name and had an odd feeling about it but couldn’t quite put my finger in it. A few days later I googled it. My maiden name is Lennon. My neighbour’s is M. Chapman. Enough said!!

Lorry codes

I worked in the office of a food warehouse supplying a major supermarket. When each lorry was loaded with goods and ready to depart, the shutters were pulled down and the back of the vehicle closed. For security purposes a 4 digit number was generated randomly, where the back door of the lorry is sealed. This is checked against delivery paperwork for discrepancy when leaving the depot and arriving at the store, in case of tampering with regard to theft etc. In the office the delivery paperwork was produced detailing the trailer number, what is in the vehicle, and the all important randomised seal number. On one occasion two lorries were loaded up, and we noticed as the summary sheets were printed one immediately after the other that hey presto their seal numbers were in fact identical! For example 5468 and 5468. We checked the actual lorries to be certain and they really were the same. I make the chances of that one in a hundred million ....... life is full of coincidences which have meaning to us. [Ed: It is surprising, but the chance is more like 1 in 10000 as you would classify any duplicated number as a similar coincidence. The first lorry can have any number.

The current Mayor of San Francisco is London Breed.

On a map of Livermore, CA the location of San Francisco Premium Outlets is between W. Jack London Blvd. & Arthur H. Breed Fwy. I believe it's foretelling the future. My best guess is a minor EARTHQUAKE is going to occur in San Francisco, CA during London Breed's term of office. Epicenter near 7th Ave. & Lincoln Way on Friday, December 31, 2021 at 3:04:17 PM PST. Magnitude 3.2--Depth 7.1 miles.

Uncanny

I became member of the Soka Gakkai international (Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism) some days around 2016 that same exact day of 'buddhist celebration' the guy I was hanging out with is born. Cherry on top, my mum's born when his sister is, and his mum's born same day of my aunt. Broke up in 2020 and I met him a year apart whilst I was on my way home where he came around to view a room. The other day I phoned my sister who strangely hung up on me because she was in front of him and she made him aware of me calling in the exact same moment they've met. Uncanny patterns, coincidences leave me alone

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