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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Total votes: 2
Date submitted:Wed, 21 Apr 2021 01:06:29 +0000Coincidence ID:11039

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Date submitted:Wed, 21 Apr 2021 01:05:19 +0000Coincidence ID:11038

My birthday

I was beginning to date someone and was looking for a sign if I should continue it further. Funnily enough, she shows me a polaroid picture with my birthday scribbled on the lower portion of the polaroid. The polaroid was from 2 years ago but it was taken exactly on my birthdate. I remember connecting it with so many meanings just because it felt like a rare ocassion; it happened when I least expected it but also just as I was looking for a sign. Anyway, we aren't dating anymore. That experience taught me never to overvalue coincidences.
Total votes: 14
Date submitted:Sun, 11 Apr 2021 19:22:33 +0000Coincidence ID:11007

Date de naissance

Ma seconde fille est née le même jour à 12h d'intervalle et x années d'écart que le frère décédé de mon futur mari qui était à l'époque un ami. La meilleure amie de son frère décédé s'appellait Christelle et sa sœur à elle s'est mariée plus tard après son décès aussi avec un homme portant le même nom que moi. Mon mari est né le même jour que mon père. Mon mari est né le 03 12 1974 à 3h33 Là où emménageons à chaque fois il y a une bonne raison... Un ami en phase terminale à accompagner une mamie en fin de vie à accompagner un parrain qui chute et qui faut prendre en charge une maison encore une fois qui comme par hasard se trouve à 6 min d'une futur école d'équitation proposant du sport étude et pour qui ce projet permettra à 2 enfants à retrouver leur maman que nous n'avions pas vu depuis longtemps.
Total votes: 11
Date submitted:Sat, 10 Apr 2021 21:48:18 +0000Coincidence ID:11006

My sister and friend are in different city/state at same time

I’ve been thinking about a friend in a romantic way lately and I asked the universe for a sign this morning if he and I were meant to be. I just scrolled through Facebook and saw that he is at a small amusement park in a state 14 hours away. As I’m looking at his picture my sister texted me. She has been traveling across the country in an RV. She is in the exact same amusement park. At the SAME time!
Total votes: 26
Date submitted:Sat, 03 Apr 2021 01:51:14 +0000Coincidence ID:10968

Near Death Experience

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Total votes: 47
Date submitted:Sat, 27 Mar 2021 00:08:51 +0000Coincidence ID:10928

A very unfamiliar breed

Last year my daughter was sitting on a beech in Greece when she saw a very unfamiliar breed of dog run right past her.Though the dog breed was very unusual, she recognised it immediately as a very close friend of hers in Australia also had one.This immediately made her think of her friend and so she decided to call him to say hi and mention she had seen a similar dog. Shockingly she was told that her friend had very suddenly passed away. How strange that she should inexplicably see 'his' dog run past her. What did this mean?
Total votes: 48
Date submitted:Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:50:07 +0000Coincidence ID:10925

A Molotov Cocktail

I was living in Rome during the 1970s in an area that was a hotbed for the Red Brigades rioting. As a young woman and a foreigner, I just kept a low profile and did my best to avoid trouble and keep my distance. However, one night I had a very upsetting dream from which I awoke in floods of tears and I got up and shouted to my flat mates to quickly get out of the house as I sensed something bad was about to happen. We all ran out and literally seconds later, a Molotov Cocktail was thrown into our back garden causing damage to the back of the building, call it a premonition, call it a co-incidence I don't know what it was, but I was glad I listened to the 'warning' in my upsetting dream.
Total votes: 42
Date submitted:Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:59:31 +0000Coincidence ID:10924

Roll of Honour Plaque 1914-1918 -Waterloo Station

I must have walked past this plaque thousands of times in my life as I used to use Waterloo Station during my working life. In all those years, I never had the time or inclination to stop and read any names on it.Then for some apparent reason, one day I looked up at the names and found to my slight embarrassment the name A.E Male on the Roll of Honour.I was somewhat intrigued as my maiden surname is not so common.When I checked out his records, which have been meticulously recorded by the railway, I found in fact he was my great uncle and I felt somewhat ashamed that I had unwittingly ignored him for so many years!
Total votes: 41
Date submitted:Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:40:04 +0000Coincidence ID:10923

An uneasy feeling

On New Year's Day in 2000 , my husband and I decided to take our young family up to the West End to watch the New Year Parade.The family were thoroughly enjoying the festivities, whereas I just couldn't tune in, as I had a very uneasy dragging, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, that gut feeling, which somehow made my thoughts turn to my father.I told my husband that I had to leave them urgently and go back and check that he was alright, we didn't have mobiles then! On my arrival at his home, I found to my shock he was lying outstretched on the bathroom floor, where he had fallen and was not able to move.Somehow even without an alarm or mobile phone he had managed to communicate his predicament to me, strange indeed, he died in hospital 11 days after.
Total votes: 37
Date submitted:Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:17:15 +0000Coincidence ID:10920