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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Finding a link w someone

I grew up on Long Island and a high school friend had a long distance romance with a guy she met from Media PA when we were in hs.I then went to College in PA and my roommate who was from Media PA also dated him. I remembered the name and confirmed it w my hs friend in another college. My mom’s friend was housesitting for a family in NY and the daughter was supposed to get married on a cruise but the fiancé canceled it before and they decided to still go on the cruise.

Duran Duran Concert

I was a late 30’s wife and mother who just moved to a new city. My husband and I became friendly with a couple down the street. The husband - “Chip” and I were both from a small city about 3 hours away. One evening we were hanging out with them talking about a high school. I mentioned I had passed on seeing the Police in concert but somehow made it to Duran Duran in our city in the early 80’s.

Link to Dad

My father had passed away just a few months prior when one evening my husband and I were chatting with an older gentleman at our church in south Texas, someone whom I knew casually by sight, no more. My husband asked him where he was from, and he named a small town in Kansas. The name of the town meant nothing to me, but Kansas certainly did. "My family lived in (small college town), Kansas, until I was eight!" I said. "You're kidding," he said, "that's where I went to college." I looked at him again, trying to guess his age.

Sun Rise

Shortly after I got up this morning, the sun rose. And I can do that almost every day.

Young Actor

It was around April 2011, I went to Xiamen, China with some classmates to join a summer immersion program that would help us enhance our Mandarin and Chinese knowledge. I come all the way from the Philippines and I was an incoming junior student at that time. While we had all sorts of subjects to help us learn non/academically, we would have more relaxing days. Like one afternoon, April 16th to be exact, our Lao Shi (teacher) finished 2 hours before dismissal and she urged us to do something else but leave class. One colleague suggested we watch a movie, to which LaoShi agreed.

Engraving in the door

It was 2007 in Christchurch, New Zealand and I had recently moved into a new share-house. I was in bed one night before I turned off the lights and noticed an engraving in the door, which had been covered with brown paint. I got out of bed and started towards the door. I ran my hands over the words "I HATE MY LIFE" in capital letters. After that night, I often imagined who did that, a child? What was their life like? I was 18 at the time and had met a girl at a party, a few weeks later she'd agreed to come over for drinks.

Bats

I've had terrible anxiety since yesterday because a co-worker saw a bat outside our building and I am terrified of bats. Jump to today and I'm shelving some books and one of the books drops onto the floor, and on the cover of the book is an illustration of a bat!

Time

Over the last 6 months or so I have been waking up at an hour +20 minutes. (12:20, 3;20 ex.) and even during the day I find myself randomly looking at the clock and it is often exactly 20 minutes after the hour. I don't do drugs, I have no paranormal beliefs or have any religious beliefs, but this is starting to bug me.

Home

I have lived on the same street in different houses twice, as I can remember nine times. Once was 4 houses on the same road. Most of the two times were consecutive. Also 2 houses in the same development, twice. My older two children were born on the same street in different homes.

Dead Music Artist and a movie

I was working out and was listening to music on Youtube. I decided to search Kurt Cobain music videos. Off all the videos I picked one of Kurt being interviewed by a book reporter. Kurt was asked what was his last book he read. Kurt answered that he read PERFUME at least 14 times while flying and he briefly described the contents and could personally relate to the main character. Well I am a big movie watcher. I never heard of the book nor the movie. That evening I turned my TV on to Pluto TV of all the movies I could of watched I tuned right into the movie PERFUME.

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