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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Same payment amount, same credit card account, same time!

On Friday 7/2/2020 I drove to pick up my wife from TESCO shopping. I stopped at their petrol station on the way in and after 5p coupons off, had spent £41.97 and paid with my joint Tesco credit card at 13:25. At the same time my wife paid for the shopping with her joint Tesco credit card and after coupons off and special deals had paid £41.97 at time 13:22. I drove up to the pick up point and loaded the car. In the evening I checked my statement on line and immediately called TESCO, accusing them of charging me twice for my fuel! BUT I WAS WRONG. Sorry TESCO.

Is the Universe trying to tell me something?

A friend and I was having a conversation one day about considences and how everything is connected and ever since that day I've been experiencing multiple considences. I don't remember all of them but here is one. I was on Facebook one day and a post for a missing person came up , was someone I knew. A comment was written that he been found two days before. Later that day I went to work then at some point I turn around and hes standing there , not knowing I work there etc.

Wedding lost ring on beach reappears two days later

In 1964 my family went on holiday to Lloret del Mar in Spain. I was seven years old and we spent many days on the beach, interspersed with day trips around the area. One afternoon we were getting ready to leave the beach when my father noticed he had misplaced his wedding ring, he would take it off before going swimming. We all spent a long time sifting through the sand to no avail, eventually giving up and returning to the hotel. Every evening the beach was raked by the hotel staff to keep it free of rubbish. The next day we went on a day trip to Barcelona.

Shared friends

Grade 7 and 8 I was friends with a group of people at my school and in grade 9 I moved away and thus lost contact with them. First year of university, I befriended this girl who, as it turns out, had started going to the school in grade 9 and had become with the exact same group of people I was friends with.

New guy has same birthdate as my ex husband

About 4 years after my ex husband left, I dated a man who turned out to have the same birthdate as my ex but it was different year.

Pope John Paul II

My name is Iwona My three personal coincidences joined with Pope John Paul The Second: 1. I was born 18.05 ; the same day of the year was born Pope John Paul II 2. I had a serious traffic accident on scooter with many aftermaths operations on my left leg, knee and foot. It happened 02.04 . That is a day of death of Pope John Paul II(02.04) 3. After traffic accident I was transferred by ambulance to hospital by name of Pope John Paul II, where I was operated 02.04 , where I spend 2 months after accident and later had other operations and medical visits.

Umberto D

Last night I decided to watch the 1952 Sica film "Umberto D." I happened upon a thread earlier in the week which suggested watching the film, and so I did. Today was the first day of my Film Theory class. The first film we're watching: Umbert D.

Bavarian Relatives meet in Rome

When I was a child, my parents and I visited Rome for holidays and sightseeing. Close to the Vatican, we sat in a restaurant and our relatives - whom we meet quite frequently at home in southern Bavaria - passed by and we spotted them through the window and went out to ask them in. As far as I remember, we spent the afternoon together and had Italian ice cream.

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