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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Unopened letter opened and read EXACTLY 19 years later

I was cleaning out paperwork from a storage unit over the weekend on 2-22-2020 when I found an unopened letter from 2001. I had sent it to my long-distance-boyfriend (who later that year became my husband and is now my ex-husband) 19 years ago. The letter was postmarked 02-26-2001 (ALMOST exactly 19 years to the date) and I decided to record myself opening this letter. This occurrence already felt special. I read it and its dated topic (I was sending him a calling card so he can call me from the pay phone!) and when I was done reading it I noticed the date on the letter: 02-22-2001.

Is this a coincidence?

So I'm not entirely sure if this is a coincidence or not but about two days ago my professor started our class by playing "Ain't That America" which I began to sing because I knew it from my mom playing it. I didn't know who sang the song however so I decided to google it and I learned John Mellancamp was the singer. Fast forward to yesterday (2/18/2020) when I am talking to a guy I like who is from Brooklyn. He begins to tell me about where he's from and then he brings up Pop Smoke, who is from the same neighborhood in Brooklyn as him.

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.

Distant past

When I was a young child of nine and ten, in 1976, my Father had a Girlfriend whom he was on the verge of marrying. I became very close and connected with this woman. They had broken up shortly after my Father had lost visitation rights with me for lack of support, and I'd never saw her again. Though I didn't thoroughly understand it, I was devastated. 13 long years later, in 1989, at age 22 or 23, I was working at a Men's Shoe Salon in a Sopping Mall in Garden City Long Island. I sold a pair of Florsheims to an older Gentleman.

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